Northern Beaches Council has approved a further rate rise of 2.4% in its 2022/23 budget.
The measure, said to be a necessary measure to meet rising inflation pressures, was on public exhibition and foreshadowed in our article earlier this year. It was approved in the 28 June 2022 Council meeting, with Cr Vincent De Luca a notable objector.
Asked to confirm the increase, a Council spokesperson said: “Ratepayers will see a modest increase on their rates notice next financial year… The increase equates to an average of less than $20 per quarter for residential properties.”
By way of background, it was previously explained to Manly Observer that the need had arisen because of higher than anticipated inflation rates.
Each year the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) set the maximum amount rates can be increased by for all Councils in NSW. In December 2021 IPART announced the limit would be 0.7% for the 2022/23 financial year, but it is Council’s position that this was based on outdated inflation information.
With inflation currently at 5.1%, the Minister for Local Government has established a process through the IPART for Council’s to apply for a higher increase that is consistent with the Council’s expected level of rating income (to a maximum of 2.5%). Council has resolved to apply to IPART for approval to increase rates by closer to the maximum, 2.4%.
The draft Northern Beaches Council 2022/23 budget was on public exhibition until 29 May. It included an operating surplus of $9.4m, debt repayment of $5 million and an $85 million investment in new and renewed capital projects.
Manly Observer found it difficult to find reference to the rate rise or community feedback in the Council minutes, and the information was not forthcoming when requested by another of our writers. It was however confirmed the rate rise was approved. There is also considerable information about the budget, operational plan and delivery program on Council’s website here: https://yoursay.northernbeaches.nsw.gov.au/delivery-program-2022-2026
You can also hear more about the rate rise justifications at 5 minutes 30 in the below Council webinar.