HAWKESBURY’S residential rates will rise and rural residential rates drop after a vote to change the rating structure at Council’s meeting last Tuesday.
The matter was passed on the deciding vote of mayor Kim Ford.
The move to change the rating structure had been passed previously when it came up in November last year, but a rescission motion by Councillor Christine Paine saw the matter return last Tuesday. The changes will see residential rates jump on average $118 next financial year while rural residential land owners will see their rates drop on average $511. The struggling business sector will see a slight hike in their rates, on average $39.
The new rating structure will include a base rate of 50 per cent for all categories, which Councillor Bob Porter believes will protect the whole community from sharp increases and decreases on a yearly basis.
Speaking on the rescission motion, North Richmond and Districts Community Action Association member, Bryan Smith said there was no evidence to suggest the changes put forward by Cr Porter were needed.
“There is no proof that these changes to the rating structure would be any more fair than the existing system, and the community has not been consulted,” Mr Smith said. Cr Leigh Williams agreed, moving to adopt the rescission motion, saying there was no case made to prove the new structure was needed or wanted.
“Let’s at least give the community an opportunity to discuss it before we go ahead and adopt it,” he said.
Councillor Patrick Conolly moved a separate notice of motion calling for a report to be presented back to Council outlining the proportion of total rates collected and the proportion of Council’s total cost of service provision such as garbage collection, road construction and maintenance and kerb and guttering for Bligh Park, McGraths Hill and Richmond as opposed to Ebenezer, Tennyson and Blaxlands Ridge.
Cr Conolly believed more evidence was needed on the matter before making a decision to change the structure. Cr Paine said people living on rural residential land made a choice to live there knowing that the value of their property would affect the rates they pay