Central Coast Council has commenced a formal community consultation for their proposed rate rise of between 10-15% to cover the repayment of restricted funds accessed over the last several years.
Central Coast Council is now encouraging the community to have their say on options for a rate rise to secure the long-term financial sustainability and service delivery for the Central Coast.
Council has notified the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) of its intention to apply for a Special Variation (SV) of either a one-off ten percent remaining in the rate base for seven years or a one-off fifteen percent, remaining permanently in the rate base, inclusive of the 2021/22 rate peg of 2%.
Acting CEO Rik Hart said he understood community concern about paying more rates but this was needed for Council’s long-term financial security and ongoing service delivery which would benefit everyone.
“We have been open with the community about our financial situation and are taking significant steps to help our bottom line – we are selling assets, reducing staff numbers and materials and contracts, reducing the capital works program, looking at fees and charges and we have been able to secure further loans,” Mr Hart said.
“The last thing we want to do is put more burden on our ratepayers. But if we do not have a substantial increase in our rate income as well, then even harder decisions will need to be made.
‘For our community that would mean a significant reduction or even elimination of services that they need and rely on us to provide. Our first priority has to be the repayment of restricted funds, which were unlawfully used, so that does not become a burden for future generations.
“This is a conversation our community has to have, and we want to hear from as many residents and ratepayers as possible,” he said.
“I urge all community members to keep an open mind, consider the information put before them, and to provide feedback over the coming weeks before Council determines in early February whether or not to formally apply to IPART for a Special Variation.”
Information on the options being considered for an SV as well as a survey for ratepayers and residents can be found at yourvoiceourcoast.com
Information source: Central Coast Council media release Monday January 11, 2020