New fees and charges structure proposed
Residents are encouraged to make themselves familiar with Richmond Valley Council's Draft Revenue Policy 2017-2018, which is on public exhibition until Friday 2 June. The Revenue Policy is reviewed annually and includes rates and charges, and financial outcomes including proposed borrowings. Local governments rely heavily on rates and charges, so much so that in 2017-2018 around 40 percent of Council’s income will come from these sources. In developing the 2017-2018 income budget, the following increases have been proposed:
- General rates - to increase by 5.50% consistent with the approved special rate variation.
- Waste annual charge - domestic waste charge to increase by 5.18% to $447.
- Waste annual charge - non-domestic waste charge to increase by 10.12% to $468.
- Waste infrastructure charge - new charge of $25 introduced to contribute towards the construction of a new landfill cell at Nammoona Waste and Resource Recovery Facility, and to fund ongoing asset renewals of the waste management program.
- Water annual charges - to increase by 5%.
- Sewerage annual charges - to increase by 1.5% (in line with the rate peg).
Council has also reviewed fees and charges associated with the Northern Rivers Livestock Exchange (NRLX). A study of other saleyards, in particular facilities with a roof and soft flooring plus facilities similar in size and throughput to the NRLX, made it clear NRLX fees are below industry standards. With this in mind, and along with the need to repay a $3.5 million loan, Council is proposing a fee structure more in line with what other saleyards are charging to move the facility closer to a breakeven financial operation. Fees and charges relative to NRLX stakeholders proposed for 2017-2018 are:
- Saleyards vendor usage fee - to increase by 6.06% to $10.50.
- Saleyards vendor capital works levy - to increase by 81.82% to $2.
- Saleyards agents’ business licence fee - to increase by 5% to $10,500.
- Saleyards agents’ business usage fee - new charge of $1 per head sold.