A proposed additional rebate for ratepayers who receive an Australian Government pension/income support payment is among the options Tamworth Regional Councillors as part of their deliberations about whether to proceed with an application for a Special Rate Variation.
The rebate is proposed to be $50 in addition to the State Government Funded existing rebate in the first year if a Special Variation is approved and enacted. It would increase to $100 in the second year of the Special Variation and continue ongoing.
Tamworth Region Mayor Russell Webb said the new rebate is a direct response to affordability concerns raised by community members in feedback about a proposed application to the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal for a permanent Special Rate Variation of 36.3% over two years starting next year.
“We appreciate the high level of public interest in the proposal and I want to thank all community members who took the opportunity to learn more about the proposal, attend one of the community information sessions and provide feedback,” he said.
“This will all form part of Councillors’ considerations next Tuesday night about whether to proceed with the application to IPART for a Special Rate Variation.”
The report Councillors will consider proposes a variation of 18.5% from July 1, 2024 (including the forecast rate peg of 3.5%) and 15% cent from July 1, 2025 (including the forecast rate peg of 2.5%), as it was written before the IPART rate peg announcement on November 21. The 4.9% rate peg set for the Tamworth region for the 2024-25 financial year will not change the total rate revenue Council expects to receive if it does decide to proceed with an application. It only means that the most Council would seek above the rate peg is 13.6% for the next financial year.
“While we welcome the changes from IPART, we still need to address the budget situation our Council faces as a result of many years of the old rate peg methodology, and to continue to deliver the services and projects our community has told us they want and need,” concluded Cr Webb.
The Council report, which includes a detailed review of the findings from the feedback, is published with the business papers for the meeting on Council’s website.