Monday 23 July, 2012
Ratepayers will receive detailed information about how Tamworth Regional Council will use the income generated through the Special Rate Variation with their rates notice this week.
Council produced a four-page Community Newsletter to mail to ratepayers with their rates notices to provide them with information about the increase to this year’s rates under the Special Rate Variation approved by Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART).
The first of the 26,459 rates notices and newsletters will arrive in local letterboxes today and most ratepayers should receive them by Wednesday.
A Tamworth Regional Council waste collection calendar and a newsletter from the NSW Valuer General will also be in the envelope.
Tamworth Regional Council General Manager Paul Bennett said the newsletter gives an explanation of the Special Rate Variation and how it will be spent to maintain and renew community assets across the region.
‘IPART decided in June to all allow council to increase its General Rate Income by 14.6 per cent in 2012-13 to fund additional asset maintenance and renewal work,’ he said.
‘The increase includes the 3.6 per cent rate cap available to all NSW council and an additional 11 per cent Special Rate Variation.
‘IPART has said the 11 per cent or $2.8 million in additional income must only be used to prevent the ongoing decline in the condition of existing community infrastructure and assets.’
The newsletter details how $1,667,000 of the Special Rate Variation income will be allocated to Transport (Roads and Bridges), with $248,000 spent on Stormwater Drainage, $627,000 on Buildings, $190,000 on Pool and Venues and $53,000 on Parks and Gardens.
Of the money for Transport Infrastructure, $394,270 will be used for resealing roads, $359,685 on pavement renewal, $494,566 on unsealed roads, $141,799 on unsealed collector roads and $69,170 on unsealed access roads.
A range of specific projects are listed in the newsletter such as $36,050 for installation of automatic doors and disabled access for Kootingal Hall/Library, $5,918 for improved performing arts microphones at the Capitol Theatre and $773 for installation of softfall woodchip around playground equipment at Manilla Pool.
‘IPART made it a condition of granting the Special Rate Variation that Council must be able to demonstrate the funds are used for the specific purpose of asset maintenance and renewal,’ Mr Bennett said.
‘We will be keeping the community informed of the progress we make though regular reports.’
Council will receive $57,628 million in rates and charges income in 2012/2013. While there is an increase in General Rate income of 14.6 per cent in 2012/13, Council is not increasing its sewer or stormwater charges this year.
Water charges will increase six per cent and waste charges will go up 3.6 per cent. Residential and business ratepayers will pay $13 more for water availability for the year and $9 more for waste collection for the year.
Anyone who needs help to understand their rates notice can call Council on 1300 733 625.
Rates can be paid in full or by instalment. The first rate instalment is due on August 31.
A range of payment options are listed on the back of rates notices. Payments can be made in person at any of Council’s Customer Service Centres at Barraba, Manilla, Nundle and Tamworth, by direct debit, at Australia Post, using BPay or by phone.
Any ratepayer having difficulty paying should call Council on 1300 733 625 and ask to discuss entering a special arrangement to pay their rates. Council has a Ratepayers Hardship Policy which can be accessed confidentially by anyone experiencing financial hardship. You can apply for Hardship Rate Relief using the application form.