Council wants promotion hike

LISMORE businesses may face an increase in the promotion levy next financial year, if a proposal to next month’s council meeting is approved.

This will be on top of the proposed special rate variation and a general rate rise.

Councillors will be asked to consider a plan to raise an additional $100,000 from companies in Lismore’s urban area to fund five business promotion programs. If it is given the go-ahead, the council will then ask for feedback from the business community before a final decision is made.

While the average increase to businesses will be 0.65 per cent, it will vary greatly depending on land valuations, which will be updated next July.

The promotion charge would be on top of a general rate rise of 3.5pc and proposed special rate rise, also be discussed at the December meeting.

The $100,000 would be used to implement the City Centre Management Business Plan which was released in August, advertising the new Lismore Brand Campaign ($55,000) that will be released this Monday, seed funding for a ‘repaint the town’ campaign ($5000), non-CBD promotions ($5000), attracting conferences to the town ($25,000) and market and street entertainment ($10,000).

The additional cost would be slightly offset for some CBD businesses once the special charge for the Lismore levee, which costs businesses $100,000 annually, ceases at the end in June next year.

Last financial year, 1082 rated property owners and 2990 businesses contributed $200,000 to the promotional program.

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