NSW Resident angry over rate rise Maitland, Cessnock and Singleton Councils
Resident angry over rate risehttp://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-06-04/resident-angry-over-rate-rise/5498710
Posted Wed 4 Jun 2014, 7:42am AEST
IPART has approved rate rises for Maitland, Cessnock and Singleton Councils.
Maitland Council could see a backlash from ratepayers after its application for a major increase in rates was approved by the state's pricing regulator.
The Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal has approved a 7.25 per cent annual rate rise for the next seven years.
Average urban residential rates will rise by around $71 next financial year.
When the council put the proposal out for public comment it received more than two thousand responses, many opposing the rate hike.
Doug Clements from East Maitland who lodged a submission with IPART believes it is a cash grab by council.
"I don't believe the council has done adequate work to reduce their costs or to improve efficiency," he said.
"In fact they admitted that by later saying that they were going to aim for a $1 million efficiency improvement which they didn't do, so I'm very disappointed that IPART have agreed to council having a 7.25 percent increase.
Cessnock and Singleton Councils have also been granted rate increases.
From July 1, Singleton's rates will rise by 7.3 per cent and Cessnock's 9.55 per cent.
Cessnock Council says the permanent rate increase will continue to fund road infrastructure renewal.
The extra revenue for Singleton Council also go to road repairs, which it says it needed due to increased coal industry traffic on local roads.