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Council rates are set to soar next year – so how will YOUR suburb be affected?

Sydneysiders will be forking out more for rates, with councils given approval to increase costs by two per cent next financial year.  

The Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal said that while rates have gone up less than usual, residents will still see an increase. 

‘We consider the costs that local governments incur to do things like maintain our footpaths and roads and the parks and community facilities we use,’ Liz Livingstone from the tribunal told 9News.

In Canterbury Bankstown, Blacktown and Campbelltown, in the city’s west and southwest, residents could be slugged an extra $25, based on the average household rate.

The Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal said that while rates have gone up less than usual, residents will still see an increase

The Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal said that while rates have gone up less than usual, residents will still see an increase 

In Canterbury Bankstown, Blacktown and Campbelltown, in the city's west and southwest, residents could be slugged an extra $25, based on the average household rate

In Canterbury Bankstown, Blacktown and Campbelltown, in the city’s west and southwest, residents could be slugged an extra $25, based on the average household rate

Residents on the Northern Beaches, the Sutherland Shire and Penrith will have to fork out an extra $30 per year, while Camden Council is offering one-off rebates. 

This is in addition to $1050 – the average residential council rate in New South Wales.

‘We know in 2020 everybody is struggling and that’s why councils understand the need to have the rate peg at this level, this year,’ Local Government NSW President Linda Scott said.

Bushfires, drought, floods and the coronavirus pandemic have also contributed to extra costs for some local government areas.

‘We’ll work with the councils in respect of that – we want to put as much downward pressure as we can right now on the cost of living and rates form part of that,’ NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said. 

But councils have warned the proposed rate won’t be enough to allow local governments to offset the cost of the recent disasters.     

‘It’s tough right now for everyone. Of all levels of government, councils have the strongest grassroots perspective on the job losses and economic damage,’ Local Government NSW president Linda Scott told the Sydney Morning Herald.

‘No council in NSW is looking to increase rates beyond what is necessary. Together, we are working incredibly hard to save jobs and stimulate local economies by investing in community infrastructure projects and community services.’

Bushfires, drought, floods and the coronavirus pandemic have also contributed to extra costs for some local government areas

Bushfires, drought, floods and the coronavirus pandemic have also contributed to extra costs for some local government areas

The pricing regulator in 2019 allowed for a 2.6 per cent rate increase, while the previous two years were 2.7 per cent and 2.3 per cent.

What are rates?  

Rates are the City’s primary sources of ongoing income, making up approximately 55 per cent of our income each year.

Rates are used to provide essential infrastructure and services.

If you own a home or business property you will pay rates to your local council, unless your property (a church, school or hospital, for example) is exempt from rates.  

The maximum increase allowed was capped at 1.5 per cent in the 2017-2018 financial year.

Ms Cope said the allowable rate was lifted by two per cent in 2021-22 included an adjustment of 0.2 per cent for election costs.

‘The adjustment will be reversed through the 2022‑23 rate peg, to ensure that ratepayers are not overcharged in subsequent, non-election years,’ she said. 

Local Government NSW president Linda Scott said is calling for a more flexible ratings system.

‘The 2021-22 rate peg is more than half-a-percentage point down on this year, and will certainly go some way to helping local government continue to provide the services and maintain the infrastructure so critical to our communities right now,’ she said. 

The increase in rates comes despite council executives earning between $350,000 and $500,000.

The average full-time worker cost at the City of Sydney is about $124,000 a year.

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