Shellharbour council budgeted rates rise 'sensible'

Shellharbour City residents face an average rate rise of $102.
Shellharbour City residents face an average rate rise of $102.

Shellharbour City residents face an average rate rise of $102 under the council's draft 2014-15 budget which will go on public exhibition next week.

The 9 per cent hike is the second annual increase as part of a special four-year rate variation approved last year.

Shellharbour rates increased by 8 per cent last year and the approval allows for a further 10 per cent rise in 2015-16 and 2016-17.

Shellharbour Mayor Marianne Saliba described the budget as "sensible", with the money from the special variation to be dedicated to asset renewal.

Cr Saliba said a highlight of the budget included $1.5 million to be put towards the council's $14.5 million Resource Recovery Improvement project at the Dunmore waste depot.

If approved by councillors, Shellharbour's average residential rates will stand at $1232 in the 2014-15 financial year.

Meantime, neighbouring ratepayers in Kiama face an increase of just 2.3 per cent next financial year, which equates to about $30 for the average ratepayer.

However Kiama's average residential rate of $1362 remains higher than that of Shellharbour.

The rise of 2.3 per cent is the increase in rate revenue approved by the Office of Local Government.

However Kiama council's domestic waste management charge for 2014-2015 will rise by 12.45 per cent.

The council's general manager, Michael Forsyth, said the increase in waste charges reflected increased costs the council would incur through collection, rehabilitation works, waste disposal costs and the waste levy being charged to council by the state government.

Kiama Council will consider submissions at a meeting to be held on June 3.

Submissions close at 4pm on May 23.


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