Council Encourages Comment on Special Variation Applocation

General Manager Ray Smith

Ratepayers and residents within the Bland Shire Local Government Area still have a few more days during which they can make comment on a proposed Special Variation to the rate peg for the 2022/2023 financial year.

General Manager, Ray Smith PSM said the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) announced in December that it had set the 2022/23 rate peg at 0.7%.

“This is a move that will result in Bland Shire Council receiving a reduction in income of $119,408 next financial year,” Mr Smith said.

“With the rate increase set at this amount, Council would also see a reduction in total income of $750,000 over the remaining term of its Long Term Financial Plan (LTFP), due to the compounding effect of the loss of the income from next year.”

Mr Smith said this significant reduction in revenue will severely impact Council’s ability to meet community expectations for service delivery and infrastructure maintenance, let alone support any future capital projects designed to benefit the communities within Bland Shire.

“This is the lowest increase in the rate peg in many years and is far below reasonable expectations or what Council had budgeted for when planning for future programs within the shire,” Mr Smith said.

“At a time when Councils across NSW are being expected to do more for their communities, it is astonishing that IPART would decide now was a good time to reduce the amount of funds a Council could secure through rates income.”

On 6 April 2022, the Office of Local Government (OLG) announced new ‘Guidelines for additional Special Variation (ASV) process for 2022-23’ and at its 19th April meeting, Council resolved to submit an application for a Special Variation of its rates to provide a 2.4% increase in the General Rates Revenue. This application was duly lodged on the 29th April.

The period for submissions to IPART closes on Tuesday 24th May and they can be lodge through the IPART web page.

https://www.ipart.nsw.gov.au/Home/Industries/Local-Government/Reviews/Additional-Special-Variation-for-2022-23

Councils will be notified of IPART’s decision no later than 21 June 2022.

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