Hilltops Council is currently undertaking a process of public consultation in relation to the harmonisation of Council's rating structure.
The changes to the rating structure will impact all rate payers as council moves to a single rating structure across the Hilltops Local Government Area (LGA).
Following the amalgamation of NSW Councils on May 12, 2016, the NSW Government requires councils created in 2016 to develop a single rating system for their LGA by July 1, 2021.
Council says it is seeking to create a "consistent rating system that is a fairer approach for all ratepayers, regardless of dwelling or business type".
Harmonisation is the final stage of the amalgamation process and involves merging the rates systems of the former Boorowa, Harden and Young Council's into a single structure for all of Hilltops.
"Council's aim in the harmonisation of the rating system is to develop a fair and equitable structure that distributes the burden fairly across the LGA while balancing the unexpected impact of harmonisation on the majority of ratepayers," a council spokesperson said.
Many ratepayers have raised concerns that the harmonisation will result in an increase to council's income.
"This is not the case, the total revenue generated by rates is capped by the State Government, for 2021-2022 the increase for Council's total rates income is capped at 2 per cent," council said.
"Accordingly, the harmonisation will not generate additional revenue for Hilltops Council.
"The changes you will see to your rates under the harmonisation are the redistribution of the current rate pool across the Local Government Area.
"In order to determine the most equitable and least impactful structure for Hilltops rates moving forward, council has performed modelling across a number of scenarios."
Council is currently undertaking a period of public consultation.
"To assist you in understanding the impact of rates harmonisation on you, council have developed a specially built calculator that will allow you to compare the rates you have paid this year against those council is proposing under the harmonisation," council said.
Along with the calculator, Council have developed a set of frequently asked questions (FAQs) to address common questions arising from the harmonisation process.
The calculator and frequently asked questions can be accessed via the following link: www.hilltops.nsw.gov.au/Council/About-the-council/Draft-Polices-Procedures-onDisplay.aspx
Council invites submissions in writing to firstname.lastname@example.org or Locked Bag 5, Young NSW 2594 by 12 noon on Friday, May 21, 2021.