Council flags deficit

Snowy Valleys Council says there will be a rates rise next financial year, that being the Government’s sanctioned rate pegging rise of 2.6 per cent.

Council says there will be no other rate rise, but says ratepayers may see other changes in their rates notices as a result of the new land valuations from the NSW Valuer General.

“In the next financial year Council will undertake community consultation on its Rate Options Study to help inform the steps required by the NSW Government to harmonise the ratings systems of the former Tumut and former Tumbarumba Shire Councils,” a Council spokesperson said. 

The outcomes of this rates harmonisation will be implemented in the following 2021/22 financial year.

The council has been concerned as they put together next year’s budget, with the bushfires and coronavirus pressing the Local Government Area into the red. The public will get their first official glimpse of the 2020-21 budget this week, as Council is set to accept the draft operational budget at their Ordinary Council Meeting on Thursday (May 21).

In a report to Council, SVC’s Executive Chief of Staff Shelley Jones wrote that there would be a “general 2.5% increase” to draft fees and charges for 2020-21, in accordance with governing regulations.

Ms Jones further wrote that during the preparation of the Fees and Charges, “a number of changes have been made to further simplify and streamline fees and charges across the whole local government area.” That process included setting one fee across all SVC cemeteries and a proposal to “discard all credit card surcharges to facilitate online and over-the-phone payments.”

The Draft Operational Budget for 2020-21 “shows an improved overall position compared to the Long Term Financial Plan adopted last year,” but still results in an operating deficit (after capital grants) of $2.6milion.

In the draft budget documents, the total operating and capital expenditure for 2020-21 would be $50.2 million, with $47.4 million expected in total revenues. Ms Jones wrote that the difference would be made up out of reserves which have been allocated for thoes specific purposes.

The draft documents can be found online at SVC’s website, included in the business papers for the May 21 Ordinary Council Meeting.