Why is a Special Rate Variation proposed?
The decision by Council to begin this engagement process was made following careful consideration and financial modelling, which highlighted the ongoing impacts of global inflationary pressures such as elevated oil prices and supply chain disruptions.
Bellingen Shire Council has experienced significant increases to the costs associated with delivering services that will meet the expectations of our community.
The impact has been felt across several areas including significant cost increases to fuel, insurance premiums, electricity, heating, emergency services levy and employee costs.
Where will the additional revenue be spent?
Bellingen Shire Council is responsible for over $0.5 billion worth of assets and delivers over 50 unique services to our community.
The additional income generated as part of the proposed Special Rate Variation will be used to offset the rapidly rising costs associated with maintaining the assets Council is responsible for and delivering services that will meet the expectations of our community.
How long is the proposed Special Rate Variation for?
If approved, the Special Rate Variation would be a permanent. The proposed increase would be 8% (including the rate peg) for 2023/24 and 2024/25, followed by 6% (including the rate peg - not yet determined) in 2025/26 and 2026/27.
What happens if we don't apply for a Special Rate Variation?
Council will have to consider its ongoing financial sustainability and may have to look at options to reduce the levels of service the community has come to expect.
What has Council done to be more efficient?
A Special Rate Variation is not the only option that Council has considered to improve its overall financial performance and better manage its service delivery.
Council has identified a number of budgetary savings and operational efficiencies facilitated through its Financial Sustainability Strategy and Action Plan.