Councillors agree to Special Rate Variation

June 27, 2024 5:47 am in by

Bega Valley Councillors have adopted a suite of planning documents at Wednesday’s Council meeting, which includes the permanent Special Rate Variation (SRV) of 19.6% inclusive of a 4.9% rate peg for the 2024-25 financial year and the new rateable property assessments.

The SRV will take effect from 1 July 2024 for all rateable properties in the shire.

Bega Valley Shire Mayor, Russell Fitzpatrick described the decision as very difficult, yet financially responsible.

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“We have a 4.9% increase in most fees and charges and Waste Services and Water and Sewer Service fees will increase to 6.9% due to the volume of current and future capital projects and service requirements, balanced with a recognition of escalating construction costs,” Cr Fitzpatrick said.

“As part of the budget setting process for next financial year, Council reviewed and updated its Long Term Financial Plan (LTFP) and Strategic Asset Management Plan.

“The LTFP provides the blueprint for future delivery of works and services, with a background of long-term financial sustainability.

“As the LFTP outlines, even with the last year’s SRV, Council is not able to remain financially sustainable.

“Rising costs exceed our capacity to generate income and meet the needs of our community with service provision and asset maintenance.

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“We have a responsibility to our community and future generations to remain financially viable.

“Ratepayers are encouraged to assess the impact of the SRV on their respective properties by using the SRV calculator available on the Council’s website.

“We realise that cost of living pressures are significant at the moment and want to remind our ratepayers that we offer various hardship options and a concession program for pensioners.”

Image: James Fennessy ARN Bega Bay