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Byron Shire
February 5, 2023

6.35% Special Rate Variation on the table for Tweed Shire residents

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Tweed Shire Councillors will be facing the decision of whether to apply for an increase to rates, above the standard, for Tweed Shire rate payers at their next council meeting on Thursday, 16 February. 

The proposal is for Council to seek to apply for a 2.35 per cent rise in general rates in addition to the 4 per cent rate rise approved for the Tweed by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) – an independent body that determines the level of rates able to be collected by councils across NSW.

According to Tweed Council’s General Manager Troy Green, ‘this would allow Council to increase its rates revenue by 6.35 per cent for the 2023/24 year.’

‘While Council was in a good financial position at the start of this financial year, there are some challenges ahead, with an inflationary environment for goods and services, wage increases, insurance premiums increases and an unprecedented growth in development applications,’ Mr Green said.

‘We are also facing increased information technology costs as we must retire our on-premises corporate system and move to a cloud-hosted software solution along with further investment in our cyber security monitoring to protect our network and our data.

‘Unfortunately, if we are to maintain our current level of services, we have no alternative but to apply for a Special Rate Variation (SRV) to our general rate levy ahead of our next Budget cycle,’ he said.

Vote against

Tweed Councillors voted against a SRV last year ‘to help lighten the burden on Tweed ratepayers in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic and associated border closures,’ states the press release. 

New land valuations

Rates are assessed on a rate in the dollar of the land value supplied by the NSW Valuer-General, under an independent process undertaken every three to four years.

The most recent valuations have just been released and are based on land values across NSW as of July 2021 – when the local market was at its peak as a result of COVID-19.

Mr Green said it would be difficult to determine the exact impact these new valuations would have on individual ratepayers.

‘Until we have processed the new land valuations through our rates system, it’s difficult for us to estimate the individual rates costs for property owners,’ he said.

‘But it is important to note the increase in land valuations does not have any impact on the total amount of rates revenue Council is permitted to raise.

‘If we are successful in our Special Rate Variation application through IPART, the Tweed will be permitted to increase our rates by a total of 6.35 per cent in 2023/24 – regardless of the increase in land valuations across the Shire.

‘This doesn’t mean every ordinary and special rate will increase by 6.35 per cent. Some people will find their rates increase by less than this, while others will see a higher percentage rise in their ordinary and special rates – but overall Council cannot increase rates revenue above this level.’

To find out more about how your rates are calculated, including an easy-to-understand video on the issue, visit tweed.nsw.gov.au/property-rates/rates-charges/rates-explained.

To have your say on the proposed Special Rate Variation and to see what the impact of the SRV will be to ratepayers, visit yoursaytweed.com.au/srv.

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