Average residential rates up $36

LIVERPOOL Council's application to increase rates by 12 per cent has been approved by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal.

The rate increase includes the continuation of the 9 per cent special rate variation which was due to expire at the end of this financial year after being in place for five years.

It also includes the rate peg amount of 2.3 per cent by which all councils have been allowed to increase their rates and an extra 0.7 per cent.

The reason the council gave for requiring the increase was a need to continue to address its infrastructure backlog.

The increase will generate an extra $85 million above the rate peg over the next 10 years which will fund maintenance and renewal of roads, community buildings, drainage, parks and sportsgrounds.

IPART chairman Peter Boxall said because ratepayers were already paying the expiring levy, the year-on-year increase will be 3.4 per cent above current levels or 1.1 per cent more than the rate peg.

IPART has imposed conditions on Liverpool City Council requiring that the extra income be used for the purposes outlined in the application and that the council report to the community in its Annual Report each year until 2023-24 on the results achieved.

Dr Boxall said special variations were designed to give councils the flexibility to generate extra income above the rate peg to meet their specific needs, with an independent assessment process to approve the increase.

Liverpool Council's application stated that average ordinary residential rates will increase by $36 in 2014-15, business rates will fall by $205 and farmland rates will fall by $102.

"We're conscious that concerns have been raised both with the council and with IPART about the need for efficiency improvements, affordability and consultation," Dr Boxall said.

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