Port Stephens rate rise proposal deferred

Port Stephens Councillors have opted to defer a decision on whether the council will apply for a rate rise.

Last month council put two options to residents to consider, the first a one-off 26 per cent increase, the second, three consecutive rises of ten per cent annually.

Under the single year scenario, ratepayers would pay more up front but less overtime and council says this option would balance its budget in one year. It would come at an average cost of $298.

The three year, gradual increase would see council balance the books in three years.It would come at an average cost of $401.

Council says under the current funding model, its financial position will continue to deteriorate and come at the cost of delivering services.

At Tuesday night’s meeting, councillors voted to defer the issue until the next meeting, which will be held next month.

East Ward Councillor Leah Anderson successfully moved that the matter be deferred to allow the Mayor and Councillors to read all of the 130 written submissions, and 264 online survey comments from the community, before making a decision.

If the matter is voted in favour of, an application will be made to the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal to seek approval for the increase.

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