Residents hoping for rates to be shrunk

RESIDENTS of Evans Head may be forced to continue paying higher rates than those in other parts of Richmond Valley if councillors decide to maintain the current rates structure.

Evans Head Ratepayers' Association representative Richard Gates said the current structure was unfair and time was running out to find a solution.

“We are at the whims of a Casino-focused council,” he said. “We are receiving the same services, why should we have to pay more for them?” he said.

Under the current rate system, Evans Head residents, which make up 18 per cent of the shire's population, paid 30 per cent of the shire's rates, Mr Gates said.

All councils must lodge proposed rate changes for the next 12 months with the Department of Local Government for approval by June.

In November, Richmond Valley Council's financial manager recommended the council employ an independent consultant to assess its rate structure after residents from Evans Head, Woodburn and Broadwater complained they were paying higher rates than Casino residents.

The council received expressions of interest from four independent consultants to undertake the review.

However, in December, the council voted on a motion put by Cr Mustow to continue with the current rate structure.

Richmond Valley Councillor Donella Kinnish said the rate structure was unfair.



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