Tweed Shire Council is applying for a special rate variation (SRV) of 4.35 per cent for the new Kings Forest subdivision.
The rate variation, if approved, would be retained permanently in the rate base for that development.
According to Tweed Shire’s Mayor Chris Cherry (Independent) the request for the SRV came from the land developer of the Kings Forest development. Under the Land and Environment Court granted approvals for the development there are ‘significant environmental protection areas in Kings Forest,’ Mayor Cherry told The Echo.
‘The management of these, in terms of habitat, fire, and pest management is an ongoing thing which needs to be funded in perpetuity. The land developer approached Council to manage these ongoing costs by requesting a SRV and we have supported that.
‘If approved, this will mean that funds will be available in the future to manage the significant environmental values of the land, particularly with regard to koala habitat and fire protection works.
‘This will not impact on the rest of the Tweed Shire residents,’ she said.
Rate peg 2%
Eight councils across NSW have applied to the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) for a special variation to increase their income from rates above the rate peg in 2021–22.
IPART has set the rate peg for 2021–22 at two per cent. The rate peg is the maximum percentage amount by which a council can increase its income from rates.
Councils requiring additional revenue are able to apply to IPART for increases above the rate peg, known as special variations. They are also able to apply to change the level of the minimum rate that they charge. IPART assesses applications against criteria established by the NSW Office of Local Government.
IPART Tribunal member, Ms Deborah Cope, said IPART will determine all applications by mid-May.
‘Councils are required to demonstrate the need for the additional revenue, evidence of community consultation and an assessment of the impact on affected ratepayers,’ she in a press release today.
‘Community members can continue to make submissions directly to IPART until 7 March and we will consider these submissions as part of our determination.’
Details about each council’s proposal can be found on the IPART website.