TWO surrounding councils to Leeton shire have now given their controversial special rate variations the green light for the next step.
Narrandera Shire Council has joined Griffith City Council in deciding to apply for an SRV with the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART).
Narrandera will be seeking to increase its ordinary rate income through the special variation over two years.
The increase includes 25.5 per cent in year one and 18 per cent in the second year, beginning in the 2024-25 financial year.
This increase, including the rate peg, will be deemed a permanent adjustment retained within the rate base.
Council will make relevant applications to IPART in February 2024.
Narrandera council said it acknowledges the impact of the proposed increase on properties currently rated as "farmland" and has requested the general manager to provide a report to council before June 30, 2025, assessing the appropriateness of the current balance of rates income among farmland, residential, and business properties.
In alignment with council's commitment to continuous improvement, the general manager has been authorised to implement the Improvement Plan adopted by council in June.
Regular reporting on the outcomes of this implementation will be provided to council every six months.
By adopting this recommendation, council says it aims to ensure the long-term sustainability and growth of the shire, while maintaining an equitable balance between ratepayers.
Narrandera shire said it remains committed to providing essential services and delivering valuable projects within the community.
With Narrandera and Griffith both set to apply for an SRV, Leeton Shire Council continues to assess its options.
Leeton shire did put an SRV proposal to the community in 2022, causing heated debate within the community and the motion was ultimately voted down by councillors in a tight decision.
An SRV wasn't put to the community in 2023 and it remains to be seen whether or not council will decide to consult again with residents in the second half of 2024.
However, Leeton shire is currently consulting with the community about the amount of rates paid by the three categories and changing these amounts to be more "equitable" across the residential, farmland and business sections.
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