How much will Ballina Shire rates increase (if at all)?

BALLINA Shire councillors will meet tomorrow to discuss options for rate increases for the 2017/18 financial year.

The finance meeting agenda outlines four options for the councillors to consider.

"It is all very well and good to consider rate increases, however it is also important to consider the impact that these increases can have on our residents," the report states.

General manager Paul Hickey said the new councillors needed to look at "where they want to position themselves".

He also said the overall health of the Richmond River had continued to rate as an important issue in surveys.

The options that will be looked at during the meeting are:

Option 1

Basically to not increase rates at all. The council would defer any proposal for a special rate variation and instead "strive for improvements ... through increased efficiencies and other revenue raising measures".

Option 2

A 2.9% rate increase, on top of IPART's 1.5% increase, for three years from 2017/18 to 2019/20. Extra revenue would be spent on asset renewal for core infrastructure.

Option 3

A 2.9% rate increase, on top of IPART's 1.5% increase, for three years from 2017/18 to 2019/20. In this option, the extra funds would be used for core infrastructure, as well as the Richmond River Estuary Coastal Zone Management Plan.

Option 4

A 3.4% rate increase, on top of IPART's 1.5% increase, for three years from 2017/18 to 2019/20. Money would be used for infrastructure and improving the waterways.

The decision from tomorrow's meeting will be voted on at the ordinary council meeting on December 15.

Mr Hickey said ratepayers would be able to have their say on any proposed increase during a public submission period early in the new year.



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