At its 28 March meeting Lithgow Council resolved to apply to the NSW Independent Regulatory and Independent Pricing Tribunal (IPART) for approval of a 2.5% one-off special variation to rates for the 2022/23 year. On average this will result in an additional cost of around 50 cents a week for residential ratepayers.
The NSW Government limits all councils’ annual rate increases to an annual “rate peg”. IPART determines the increase by linking it to past increased costs. The covid pandemic and lockdowns kept these increases low and so the rate peg was set at just 0.7% for 2022/23. This does not however not reflect current or likely cost increases.
In acknowledgement of extreme current and future cost pressures on Councils, the NSW Government has offered Councils the option of applying for an additional special variation of up to 2.5% (total increase).
Approximately 80% of Council’s income is directed towards renewing and maintaining community assets (roads, footpaths, drains, water and sewer networks, parks and gardens, buildings like libraries and halls, waste facilities) The additional rating revenue will be directed to these outcomes for the community.
Lithgow Council General Manager, Craig Butler said, “The Council is alert to the rising costs of living. This increase is a very moderate amount. It will not be enough to offset the additional costs that the Council will bear next year. We will, through productivity actions and other efforts, need to do more next year with less.”
Mr. Butler added, “Council staff are available to assist any resident who is experiencing difficulties. Customers suffering financial hardship can apply for relief from payment of rates and charges.”
Customers suffering financial hardship can apply for relief from payment of rates and charges. The Hardship Application form is located here – https://council.lithgow.com/council/forms/