Council seeks feedback on rates options to improve local assets and financial sustainability

24 October 2014

Mosman residents, businesses and ratepayers are being encouraged by Mosman Council to share their views on a proposed special rate variation.

Three options have been explained in a brochure which is being delivered to residents, businesses and ratepayers this week and community members can indicate their preferred option to Council by filling in supplied reply-paid postcards or by logging onto the ‘Shaping Mosman’s Future’ page of Council’s website www.mosman.nsw.gov.au.

The consideration of an application to the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) for a special rate variation in 2015 has been prompted by the impending expiry of the Community Environmental Contract (or CEC), a 5% environmental levy due to end in 2016-17.

The three possible rating options to fund improvements to local assets including roads, footpaths, buildings, parks, drainage and marine structures, reduce the current estimated $8.6m infrastructure backlog, and boost its longer term financial health include:

Option 1 – This assumes expiry of the current 5% environmental levy, with no replacement levy proposed. Annual rate increases will be limited to the annual State Government rate peg, which is estimated to be 3%. Under this option average rates will fall by 2% in 2015-16 (and increase by an estimated 3% in following years). However, Council’s infrastructure backlog will increase and service levels will need to reduce over time.

Option 2 – This includes a special rate variation of 8% in 2015-16, comprising a 5% levy that will remain permanently in the rate base, plus the 3% rate peg.

Under this option rate rises would be comparable with existing levels, service levels could generally be maintained and Council would go some way to reducing its infrastructure backlog. Some service reductions, however, may be necessary over time for Council to achieve a balanced budget.

Option 3 – This includes a special rate variation of 13% in 2015-16, comprising a 10% levy that will remain permanently in the rate base, plus the 3% rate peg.

This option would allow service levels to be significantly improved, particularly in the area of asset renewal and maintenance. Council would be able to clear its infrastructure backlog over the next 10 years and achieve operating surpluses over the same period, creating a stronger local authority for Mosman.

Information about the options is on display at Mosman Civic Centre and Mosman Library and an information stall will also be held at Mosman Markets on Saturday 1 November 2014 between 9am and 1pm.

The consultation period is open until 16 November 2014.