We are republishing this story from December 16, 2020 as it was lost in the COVID mayhem that soon followed. The plans are now open for public comment and close Feb 28. Details here.
Manly residential council rates will rise by an average of $300 – or 22% – under a proposal now on public display.
The average business rate will likely substantially increase for the Manly ward too, by $1,200, or about 38% – while businesses in Warringah will see a drop in the average cost.
Some of the residential rate hike impact will be cushioned by the reductions in local domestic waste charges that have rolled in since amalgamation, which should lower the total bill to an increase of about .4% since amalgamation in 2016.
BUT these figures don’t take into consideration any increases from land revaluations or yearly increases permitted by the independent pricing tribunal.
So, how much more will you pay as a resident of the lower Northern Beaches?
Well, that’s a ‘how long is a piece of string’ type question but for those in the Manly ward (Manly, Seaforth, Balgowlah etc) it could be summed up as “more than you’re used to.”
But why, wasn’t 2020 hard enough?
Known as “rates harmonisation”, the changes in rates has been mandated by the State Government as part of the amalgamation of the various Northern Beaches councils.
Amalgamated councils have until July next year to implement the harmonised rates.
Council does not generate any additional income as a result of harmonisation – it is a redistribution of rates. They can, however, propose how they will harmonise, and they are proposing to use weighted average minimums in calculating your bill.
Rates are essentially based on a per centage of land value, or a minimum set rate – depending on which is higher.
Pensioners across the board will be eligible for an additional $150 in rebates.
It’s a redistribution, not a rise says Mayor
Northern Beaches Mayor Michael Regan said the rate changes will have “unavoidable impacts for some ratepayers who have been paying less than others for a number of years now.”
“It’s important to note that this exercise does not mean Council collects more rates. Where there is a proposed increase for one ratepayer, there is a decrease for another, so the Council bottom line remains the same due to the harmonisation process,” he said.
Under the proposal, 76 per cent of residential ratepayers would see their rates decrease and 62 per cent of businesses, he said.
Currently, the minimum rate for residential ratepayers from the former Manly Council is $860.62, compared to $931.92 for residential ratepayers from the former Pittwater Council and $1,022.94 for residential ratepayers from the former Warringah Council.
The amount paid is usually much more as it’s more often calculated as a per centage of land value.
Rates and annual charges make up 58% per cent of Council’s annual income.
At its meeting of Tuesday December 15, Council agreed to place the proposed rate changes (known as Scenario 4) on public exhibition, and request an allowance from the State Government to more slowly implement the changes to avoid “bill shock” of more than 10 per cent to some ratepayers (us folk in the south, essentially).
If you’re interested in the nitty gritty, go to page 15 of Council’s agenda from last night (15 December) The proposed changes will be on public exhibition via the Your Say page and we are told various other communications activities are planned.
If you spot something in there we didn’t, we are very happy to take expert commentary from our learned readers. Email email@example.com