Byron rates increase knocked back

BEING knocked back on the request for a special rates increase was a ‘real disappointment’, Byron Shire mayor Jan Barham said yesterday.

“It means we are going to have to cut back on certain things in the community, at a time when community expectations of financial help are increasing,” she said.

Byron Shire Council is to hold an extraordinary general meeting on Thursday to review its budget.

This will include a major rethink of nearly $70,000 worth of grants to community groups it had outlined in June.

Cr Barham said the council had not received the support from the community it had hoped for and needed.

“Some ratepayers would have been paying even less than at present,” she said.

The council had applied to the NSW Department of Local Government for a special rate variation increase of 6.98 per cent, but was told last week its rates would be capped at 2.6pc for 2010/11.

Cr Barham said the decision would cost the shire about $1 million.

The year ahead was going to be a tough one, she said.



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