Four merged councils across Sydney will charge hundreds of thousands of taxpayers extra rate payments from July, despite strong opposition from residents, following a ruling by the price regulator on Monday.
The City of Canterbury Bankstown and the Georges River Council were among councils in NSW that allowed special rate variations to raise rates above the 2 percent ceiling set by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal last September for 2021-’22.
The board approved an application from the Canterbury Bankstown Council to raise its rates by 36.34 percent over five years, while the Georges River Council will charge 32.6 percent more in installments, also spread over five years.
The board also allowed the merged councils, along with the Bayside Council and the Inner West Council, to increase their minimum rates, as they each merge several rating systems into one.
All 17 NSW councils that merged in 2016 must have switched to one rating system across old borders by July.
Residents have complained that the changes will increase rates by up to 40 percent in some areas, while taxpayers in the nearby suburbs to their expanded council areas will save hundreds of dollars a year.
The Inner West Council, created by a merger of the Marrickville, Leichhardt and Ashfield councils, will charge rates of at least $ 850 a year for residents and $ 820 for businesses. The Bayside Council, which covers the former Rockdale and Botany areas, will change its minimum rate to $ 844.16 per year for residents and businesses over four years.
Bayside Mayor Joe Awada said this meant taxpayers in the former Rockdale council area would pay about $ 300 less in installments over three years, while residents and businesses in the former botanical council area would pay about $ 300 more.
“The taxpayers on the former Rockdale site were obviously quite happy. With the botany side, we had a lot of people saying that their rates should stay the same. But what they did not realize was that it was out of our control. ”