Businesses can look forward to a rates reduction in the Milton Ulladulla, offset by a slight rise in residential rates in 2016-17.
Proposals open to debate at forthcoming public meetings follow a review of council’s rates structure by consultants KPMG.
Council general manager Russ Pigg has revealed some of the business reductions in the Shoalhaven will be substantial but promises the residential increases will be modest.
Dairy farmers’ rates will rise, to equal what other farm enterprises pay.
Councillor Allan Baptist is onside.
“This proposal comes after a needed review and provides fairness and a supportive boost to sustaining the [Shoalhaven] economy and building future employment,” said Cr Baptist.
"It is good news for our burgeoning small businesses as well as our medium-to-large sized enterprises.”
To make up the shortfall from business reductions and to stay within the allowable 1.8 per cent increase pegged for the general purpose rates by the State government, council would pick up $18 to $20 from all residential ratepayers.
“Business is important in providing services, opportunities and employment to residents, so if it means an average for residents to pay an additional $18 to $20 that seems like a small price.”
Mr Pigg invites Shoalhaven ratepayers to engage in “sensible debate” at any of three public meetings, including one to be held at Ulladulla, to hear more about proposed rates and projects planned for the coming year.
Cr Patricia White also urges residents, ratepayers and businesses to attend the meeting at the Civic Centre, where council staff will present and explain the proposed ratings and draft budget for 2016-17 at each meeting.
Dairy farm increases may be above the 1.8 per cent pegged rate but still enable council not to exceed the general purposes cap.
“There no longer seems to be justification for the reduction council introduced during dairy deregulation in the mid-2000s when those farmers were doing it tough and they now seem to be over it,” Mr Pigg said..
The Ulladulla public meeting will be at the Civic Centre at 7pm on Wednesday May 4.
Council’s rate calculator, due online this week, will enable residents to see proposed rate changes for businesses or residential properties.
You can make a submission by email to email@example.com or by letter to the general manager quoting reference 52309E. The deadline for submissions is May 18.
You can view the budget and Draft Delivery Program & Operational Plan 2016-2017 online at www.shoalhaven.nsw.gov.au, administration offices at Ulladulla and Nowra and council libraries.
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