Ballina Shire Council chambers
Ballina Shire Council chambers Graham Broadhead

Rate rise on the cards for Ballina Shire

RATEPAYERS in the Ballina Shire could see rates rise to 4.4% next year if council votes in favour of the proposal at Thursday's council meeting.

The recommended rate rise of 4.4% was carried by councillors after debating four different rate rise proposals at the financial committee meeting on Tuesday.

Councillors voted for option two, consisting of a 2.9% rate increase, on top of IPART's 1.5% increase, for 2017/18 with the extra revenue to be spent on asset renewal for core infrastructure such as improving local roads.

Part of the recommendation also states an estimated 2% rate rise to 6.4% in 2019/2020.

In a close vote, councillors were tied four all vote with mayor, Cr David Wright having the casting vote to carry option two.

Option four was also contested by councillors in another tight, 4-4 vote with the mayor again using his casting vote to vote down the motion.

The proposal comprised of 1.5% rate increase, on top of the 1.5% IPART rate for 2017/18 and excess revenue to be injected into improving the shire's waterways.

Councillor Sharon Cadwallader voted for option four because she said it was a "modest" rate increase that was "fiscally responsible."

General manager Paul Hickey said it's important to note the absence of Cr Jeff Johnson and Cr Sharon Parry for Tuesday's vote and future community consultation.

"It's only a recommendation from the finance committee at this stage and it could change, especially when its four all like that and you've got two councillors absent

"It could all change Thursday week."



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