Central Coast Council is extending its timeline for the community to have their say on a rate rise for the area.
A new survey with an additional question will remain open until 1 February at yourvoiceourcoast.com
Acting CEO Rik Hart said he was closely monitoring the community sentiment as it was critical that the community were heard on this very important matter.
“Our very early and preliminary survey results are giving a strong indication that ratepayers feel restricted in their opportunity to express their views about the option of no rate rise at all,” Mr Hart said.
“We have looked at less than 10% of the survey responses, as there is a lot of data to process with over 3,300 surveys completed. More than half the respondents in this small sample don’t want any rate rise option and we are certainly seeing some similar commentary in letters to my office and the Administrator’s Office.
“I can totally understand this viewpoint.”
“However, I need to make it clear that no rate rise is not a viable option. Council needs a rate rise to repay the restricted funds spent on community infrastructure and services and to deliver a level of service to the community that ensures our assets and essential services are maintained.
“I urge all community members to keep an open mind, consider the information put before them, and to provide their feedback before 1 February.
“We are committed to capturing as much community feedback as we can in order for the Council to consider whether or not to formally apply to IPART for a Special Variation of the rates,” Mr Hart said.
Council has notified the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) of its intention to apply for a Special Variation (SV) of either a one-off ten percent remaining in the rate base for seven years or a one-off fifteen percent, remaining permanently in the rate base, inclusive of the 2021/22 rate peg of 2%.
Information on the options being considered for a Special Variation as well as a survey for ratepayers and residents can be found at yourvoiceourcoast.com