Councillors vote to begin formal Special Rate Variation process
Published on 30 November 2022
Snowy Monaro Regional Council will begin consultation with the community on a potential rate increase following an Extraordinary Council Meeting in Cooma yesterday evening.
This decision was reached at last week’s meeting, however, due to three Councillors lodging a rescission motion after last Thursday’s meeting had finished, yesterday’s meeting was held to discuss and vote on this matter again.
A majority of Councillors voted to reaffirm the decision made at last Thursday’s Extraordinary Council Meeting to notify the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) of Council’s intent to apply for a rate increase. This increase is known in government terminology as a Special Rate Variation. The lodged rescission motion was lost.
Council has written to IPART notifying the body of the organisation’s intent to apply for a Special Rate Variation.
The decision on the final option to bring Council to a financially sustainable position will be made only after extensive consultation and engagement with the community. The final decision, post consultation, will be made after the Council meeting currently scheduled for 30 January 2022.
Councillors voted to begin this process after the independent financial sustainability review (FSR) into Council’s finances showed that, without an increase in rates and the implementation of a number of other recommendations aimed at improving efficiency, we would have no choice but to cut services and allow infrastructure and public facilities to degrade and eventually close.
What happens now:
- Council reconfirms to IPART– the government authority that makes decisions about rates – our intention to apply for a Special Rate Variation (the formal name for a rate increase)
- Consultation begins – the community will have the opportunity to tell us what balance of an increase to rates and cuts to services they want
- Council meets again to discuss the results of the consultation, and decide whether to apply for an increase to rates
- If applying, Council makes a formal application to IPART
- IPART will then conduct their own consultation, allowing the community to again have their say on any potential increase to rates
- By mid-2023, IPART will notify Council of whether a rate increase is approved
- If approved by council, the Special Rate Variation (increase) is applied to rates from mid-2023
This process, including the two different consultation periods will take place from now through to June 2023, giving our community the time they need to make an informed decision and tell us what they think, and which way we go together.
We have prepared clear, simple and comprehensive information to inform you, our community, through this process. Visit www.yoursaysnowymonaro.com.au/special-rate-variation to find out all you need to know and to have your say on this important project to secure our region’s future.
For information see link above, call 1300 345 345 or email firstname.lastname@example.org