Have Your Say
on the Special Rate Variation
Transport, Stormwater Drainage and Buildings Program for 2019/20
Telephone Survey Results
Council Response to Telephone Survey
At the Extra Ordinary meeting on 29 January, Lithgow City Council resolved to submit an application to IPART for a permanent increase, above the normal rate peg, in our general rate income to commence in 2019/20 This process is called a Special Rate Variation (SRV) application.
Council resolved to
- Apply to retain the current SRV of 4.77% which expires on 30 June 2019.
- Request an additional one-off SRV of 4.23% plus the 2.7% rate peg will also be added.
In total the SRV application is for a 9% increase in rates revenue plus the 2.7% (set by IPART for 2019/20) rate peg will also be added.
Why has Council applied for a Special Rate Variation?
Like many other NSW Councils, our roads, footpaths, buildings, drainage and other community assets are ageing and need to be renewed or upgraded. We know that our community places a high value on these assets, in particular our road network. Our assets in their current state are continually deteriorating and need costly maintenance. To improve our public assets we need to spend more money on maintaining and renewing these assets to ensure that they meet the needs of our community. Also, a small portion of the Special Rate Variation will be allocated to business improvement initiatives.
The proposed Special Rate Variation is an important step to help maintain and manage our current assets to ensure that we deliver services in line with community expectations and remain financially sustainable into the future.
What will the Special Rate Variation funds be used for?
The projected total SRV income (from maintaining the current SRV plus adding the new SRV) is estimated at $1.14 million for the 2019/20 year
- $725,000 on Transport (sealed roads, unsealed roads, footpaths, cycleways, bridges and road drainage)
- $100,000 on stormwater drainage
- $250,000 on buildings
Increasing the level of funding for these assets will allow council to renew those which are currently in a poor condition. It will also ensure that the number of assets in poor condition does not continue to grow. It is essential that our community assets are safe, in working order and meet community expectations. The expenditure will ensure that the Fit for the Future asset benchmarks are met over time.
The Proposed Buildings, Transport & Stormwater Drainage Program for 2019/20 provides a list of projects currently under consideration for implementation in 2019/20. This program is subject to change and will not be finalised until June 2019.
The works identified in this program to be funded by the Special Rate Variation will not proceed in 2019/20 without approval of a Special Rate Variation.
The remainder of the increased funding (approx. $70,000 p.a.) will be spent on business improvement initiatives which will either generate additional revenue or reduce long-term costs for Council.
How has the Council considered the capacity of the community to pay?
The Council has completed a full analysis of the community’s capacity to pay additional rates and this has been detailed in the Long-Term Financial Plan 2019-2029.
Within available funding, the Council is committed through its integrated planning to build a sustainable future for the Lithgow Local Government Area Council’s actions support the creation of a vibrant economy / town centres providing increased local employment opportunities and advocating for the provision of services and facilities that meet the needs of all age groups and special needs groups.
The Council has a Hardship Policy to accommodate the special needs of those unable to pay their rates in full on time. The Council is committed to working with such ratepayers to agree on affordable payment plans.
Council has developed a Rates Calculator to enable ratepayers to see what the likely impact of the proposed special rates variation will be on their rates. The Special Rate Variation is only applied to the base property rates and is not applied to other charges such as waste, sewerage or water charges. The Rates Calculator is available online at http://www.haveyoursay.lithgow.com/rates-calculator/ or if you do not have access to the internet contact the Council Customer Service Centre on 6354 9999 or call in to Lithgow, Wallerawang or Portland Libraries where a Council officer will be happy to assist you. To use the calculator you will need to know the valuation of your property that is set by the Valuer General (which is available on your rates notice) This value is based on the land value only and does not include any improvements such as buildings.
How can I view Lithgow Council’s application for a Special Rate Variation?
All applications for a Special Rate Variation must be submitted to IPART by 11 February 2019. Submissions from ratepayers will be received by IPART from 11 February to 11 March 2019.
View Council’s application or make a submission to IPART online at www.ipart.nsw.gov.au.