Port Stephens SRV Rate rise to hit family budgets

WITH the request for a large increase in rates in front of IPART, the NOTA asked the Port Stephens Mayor and Councillors two important questions.

1) Will you as a Port Stephens property owner be impacted by the rate rise and if so how will your family budget be affected by the 31 percent increase?

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2) Given the current cost of living crisis, do you believe that families can afford the rate rise on top of mortgage interest rate increases and an increase in the cost of rental properties?

These are the responses:

Port Stephens Councillor Giacomo Arnott told News Of The Area “Using Council’s rate rise calculator (https://forms.portstephens.nsw.gov.au/RunForm.aspx?formId=2654) I’ve calculated my current rates as being $884.82 annually.

“With no rate rise this would have risen to $995.63 after four years.

“With the rate rise, it will be $1195.48 after four years.

“This is an extra $200 per year that I’ll be paying in rates by the end of the four years.

“My family’s budget is already stretched and with inflation and cost of living increasing, this will gradually make the budget tighter.

“My mortgage isn’t getting cheaper either and I know many ratepayers will be in the same boat.”

Councillor Arnott knows that many families will be able to afford it, but others won’t and those who won’t are the ones that we need to be thinking about.

“They’re the households I have at the top of my mind when I’ve consistently voted against a rate increase.”

Port Stephens Councillor Leah Anderson told News Of The Area,”As a Port Stephens property owner I will be affected by the rate rise, and yes, my family budget will need to adjust.

“With my finance background, I know how important it is to budget and break these down to weekly figures so I can manage my budget effectively.

“For example, this proposed SRV increase for me will break down to an additional approximate $3.65 per week in the first year, and $11.90 per week for me after three years.

“I then consider my spending on items that may be luxuries, and I make a decision what I need to cut out of my weekly spending to be able to manage my family finances.”

Councillor Anderson knows that the rate rise will affect some families more than others.

“These are challenging times for everyone.

“I also have a mortgage with interest rates rising.

“I do also know from being a mortgage broker, that when I borrowed for my first home, interest rates were around twelve percent.

“I had to manage a budget back then, just as I do now.

“It is always important to manage your budget by factoring in potential interest rate increases, cost of living increases driven by inflation etc,” she said.

It is important for families to know that Port Stephens Council has a hardship policy for anybody who may be struggling to pay their rates and need some assistance.

If you would like to comment on the rate rise, have your say at www.ipart.nsw.gov.au/Home/Reviews/Lodge-a-submission?openforms_id=c6010f5a-8bb0-4791-8ccd-485c552235ab&timeline_id=15609&cta_type=have_your_say by 3 March.

The determination will be issued in May 2023.


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