Rates Cap a Con

Posted:

There are fears the latest rates cap will increase financial pressure on New South Wales north coast councils.

The State Government has set rates at 2.6 per cent, down from 3.5 per cent last financial year.

Local Government Association president Genia McCaffery says residents will pay less now but future ratepayers will inherit massive debts.

Councillor McCaffery says councils are again being asked to do more with a shrinking revenue base.

“Particularly on the coast you’re faced with lots of people who want to go and live in your community but with a declining revenue base,” she said.

“So you’re facing massive problems in terms of renewal of infrastructure for a growing population, not only from residents but from tourists.

“Yet the revenue base for councils is declining.”

Cr McCaffery says councils have a backlog of infrastructure needs worth more than $6 million.

“I describe it as the great con on our communities because people feel good that they’re paying less,” she said.

“But long-term they’re creating major financial problems for the level of government that delivers the most basic services to their community.”

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