New rating system deferred until 2020

By Olivia Duffey

A reduction in the number of local rate categories is expected to result in some winners and some losers.

Since the local government merger three years ago the rate category structures of the former Deniliquin Council and Conargo Shire have largely been retained.

It had been proposed to introduce a new rating structure this year, but it has been deferred until next year.

At its August meeting, Edward River Council decided to push its Rates and Revenue Harmonisation project to come into effect in 2020.

Mayor Norm Brennan said the project aims to make the rating categories simpler and clearer.

He said the aim was a clearer and more precise ratings system to replace and reduce the 14 to 15 current categories.

‘‘When the merger happened three years ago, Deni had six rating systems and we (Conargo) had about 12 or 13. Some of them were merged but now we need to find the most efficient number of categories possible to replace the complicated system.’’

Cr Brennan said the total amount of rates collected will remain the same.

‘‘The pie will still be the same total rates collected, we can’t change that,’’ he said.

‘‘There will possibly be some reductions in rates and some increases in rates. However, our aim is to minimise the impact of the rating system.’’

Council will enlist the help of a private company to assist the process.

He said the company which would be used was currently working with other councils throughout New South Wales.

‘‘We will also include community consultation and involvement (in the process),’’ Cr Brennan said.