The majority of the City's 35,000 ratepayers (including pensioners and low income earners) will benefit from reduced rates.

over 6 years ago
CLOSED: This map consultation has concluded

Average annual resident rates will go down by approximately $39 and many will go down as much as $400.  However, depending on where you live, a small percentage of residents will experience an increase in their rates.

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  • jayman over 9 years ago
    I welcome this in principle, but, the complete lack of detail worries me, for as a pensioner, I have absolutely no leeway in being able to cover costs. If the council could put up an indication of property types and charges, for instance, a pensioner in a small home on a very small garden, within the Katoomba city area, that would be most welcome. Without it, there is nothing to form a proper opionion on.
  • Ducks over 9 years ago
    We agree with Jayman. All this does is make us feel anxious until we know what our rating is going to be for our area and circumstance. We have farmland rates currently and wonder how this will be affected. We also live on Mount Tomah, so are we one of that small percentage whose rates will go up? Is there a way of calculating our new rates? We are just a few years off retirement and our income is likely to be low. What would happen then? We would appreciate a clearer understanding of the new rating, please, before we are able to give feedback.
  • Admin Commented bmccadmin over 9 years ago
    Thank you for your comments on the proposal.

    Please be advised that the average proposed increase or decrease to rates, by township, under the proposed new rating structure is available in the Library on the right hand side of the home page for this consultation- see Supporting Document 5.

    Given the significant differences in the impact on rates across the City, it is impractical to provide information on the rates for individual properties in this forum. However, as mentioned in the FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions also available on the right hand side of the home page for this consultation), if you would like an estimation of your rates for your property under the proposed new rating structure, you are welcome to contact the Council on 4780 5000 during business hours (8.30am to 5pm Monday to Friday) or send an email to A Council officer will provide an estimation based on your property's land valuation and location and will also be able to provide an estimate of the rates payable if the proposed new rating structure is not implemented.

    If any ratepayer suffers genuine hardship because of the proposed changes, the are encouraged to contact Council to discuss the individual circumstances.
  • erland over 9 years ago
    The specific information is a bit hard to dig up on this issue.
    To residents / commenters - what you probably want to read is the FAQ, either in the "Library" section or on the FAQ page itself, that answers the questions of basically what the changes are and importantly, why each change is being made.
    To council / moderators: I think that info is not as accessible as it should be. The FAQ is lengthy and detailed but there are some key points that could be pulled out and made simpler to digest. One example is the proposed new differentials - you have to get 3/4 of the way through the FAQ and then it's buried within a paragraph of prose rather than a table or something that's more 'at a glance'.
  • erland over 9 years ago
    After fully reading all the documents in the Library, I'm inclined to fully support the proposed changes.

    I agree with the proposal because:
    * It seems more efficient.
    * Businesses will pay a fairer share - I think this could go even further to be in line with other NSW councils (ie. a differential of 2.3 from memory).
    * It seems more equitable to those in the mid mountains and outer villages who benefit less from council services.

    I say this as a resident of Leura who will probably end up being among the few who pay more so it's not out of self-interest.
    Hide reply (1)
    • fido's friend over 9 years ago
      Removed by moderator.
  • kasmith over 9 years ago
    As a resident from Mount Tomah our concern is that we have very little access to council resourses (library, aquatic centre, council office) as they are a minimum 40minutes drive away. We have no community bus or public bus to the railway. We feel we are already paying rates that are high compares to the services we receive and to be grouped with towns on the train line and in reach of comminuty access groups this may be unequitable for thoose who do not have access. So if this has been finally considered in the changes, great!

    We agree with comments below and I guess selfishly want to know, can it be put more simply, how will this rate change effect me? what will be the cost to me? can the information be made more accessable (inlcuding this comment procedure) Please provide a clearer understanding of the dollar vs service impact on residential and ruarl zoned areas.
    Hide Replies (5)
    • mt tomah over 9 years ago
      I am also a Mt Tomah resident and agree with Kasmith. Averaging out my annual rates, we pay $40 a week to have our bins emptied once a week - and clearly also for the consultants to come up with these ideas.

      But, speak to anyone in retail in Sydney and they will tell you that that things are very slow. The mountains are even more affected. It does concern me also that small business will bear the brunt of any change, and most likely force a lot to close.

      From all accounts BMCC is not in a strong financial position. The proposal sounds good in principle, but why go to all this effort and expense if it won't improve Council's bottom line, or the services people/business receive? I wonder if Council or those consultants looked at trimming the excessive management, new income generation models, or researched more innovative ways to redistribute Council's income...?
      Hide Replies (4)
      • erland over 9 years ago
        Making the claim that businesses will be likely to be forced to close with a modest increase in rates seems completely outrageous to me - I can't see any factual basis for this assumption.

        The share of rates paid by business after the increase would still be below the average for all other NSW councils in any case. Can you show that many small businesses have closed in more than half of other council areas in NSW due to the cost of rates?

        - Leura resident who supports the changes despite being in the area with the highest residential rate increase.
        Hide Replies (3)
        • Bluemtnsboy over 9 years ago
          Unfortunately Erland, the claim is true as I for 1 who runs a small business in Katoomba will be closing my doors if I am forced to pay an increase in rent to cover these rates proposed by BMCC. my lease comes up for renewal in September & if my landlord is forced to pay an extra 56% in rates to cater for BMCC's incompetence then we will no doubt be forced to pay these rates through a minimum of 56% rent increase.

          we have been struggling for some time with a lack of tourists due to the frustration faced by many with the delays on the Great western jokeway, we often have customers complain about the extra hour it took to get to Katoomba from Blaxland & listening to them state they won't be coming this way until the road is finished is disheartening. what are council doing about this? increasing our rates so we have to pay when we can't afford it.

          today Katoomba Street was almost like a ghost town & has been like that a fair bit this past week & this is reflected in our very poor sales. we used to be under the council library before the works started and had a very profitable business but then the works & jack hammers began causing us to basically close our doors with council refusing to acknowledge that they were responsible for a business earning around $12k to 18K a month would suddenly slump to 1-2K. now they are proposing that we should fork out another 56% in rates for absolutely NO services rendered. we don't have parking in front of our shop we don't even have off-street parking for ourselves nor do we have a rubbish collection service as we basically have to take our rubbish home every day & put it in our household collections. In 10 years of living in the upper Mtns I have rarely seen any works carried out by council in the main street of Katoomba except for removal of car park spaces to cater for what they call "Beautification" planting trees. & destruction of businesses whilst renovating a Civic centre which still leaks as the old shops & new shop owners along with the library are finding out. basically the BMCC are just interested in getting as much money from whoever they can to appease the fact they have squandered their spendings on stupid things.

          As stated I for one who owns Ritchie's Comics & Collectables will be closing & therefore adding yet another vacant shop to an already half deserted strip if council go ahead with this crap
          Hide Replies (2)
          • erland over 9 years ago
            Bluemtnsboy, I'm very sorry about your personal siutation. It's awfully unlucky your shop ended up being in an area of fairly major works and I'm sure that's detrimental to your business.

            On the broader point however, I want to respond to three things:
            1. A 56% increase in rates does not equal a 56% increase in rent. Rates would make up only a portion of a landlord's profit & costs.
            2. It seems there are a few reasons - whether council's responsibility or not - why you might have to close and the rates issue is not clearly the primary one or necessarily even a significant factor.
            3. The proposal is not to increase rates overall, so no-one would be paying for the council's "incompetence" - there would just be a re-distribution of the share paid for current council programs and services to be more fair.
            Hide reply (1)
            • Bluemtnsboy over 9 years ago
              sorry yes I agree the rent increase wouldn't be 56%, typo on my part but it would still be a big hike per week to cater for it

              we have a great clientele that visit often but we try to cater for tourists as well which to me the Council have done nothing to bring to the mountains. they can't even be bothered supporting the big Winter Magic festival which is held once a year

              tourists often complain about the 1 hr parking limit in the main street, to walk down one side, look at shops & perhaps stop for a coffee then walk up the other & do same you need a good 90+ minutes but with only 1 hr parking by the time people get half way down the street they have to go & check / move their car. that is poor planning by Council. Hazelbrook who only has a small shopping complex has 4hr parking & Springwood even has 2hr parking in the main street. to me Council don't seem to care about Katoomba or supporting businesses located in that area

              Katoomba Businesses should start seeing services STARTED not increased because we don't get anything from council as it is so why should we be forced to pay more for nothing?

              we pay our water rates & electricity / gas bills to the relevant companies because we use a service that they provide. Council don't seem to provide any services yet want to increase rates for doing nothing? where is the fairness in that?

              If someone graffiti s the footpath outside our shops the Council don't clean it up they simply send the ranger around who threatens shop owners with heavy fines if they don't clean it up. If we put anything outside our shop on the footpath again we are met with a ranger visit insisting we have to pay council a yearly fee for the privilege. this makes no sense as 1 minutes we are told we have to pay to put things on the footpath but when it comes to graffiti it is our responsibility?

              I suppose I am just someone who is getting fed up with paying excessive fees & monies to individuals / companies who have no right to charge such fees especially when as stated they do nothing

              if they want to start providing services for businesses & start bringing in the tourists then I would have no issue with paying for the opportunity but when they do nothing why should we?

              another joke we have to contend with is the SRA who often decide to take trains off over weekends for track works, adding many buses to the already congested highway in the road work affected areas, this is also a turn off to tourists & the RTA constantly post on their own website for people to avoid the area due to such delays.

              it's just one big joke & proof that the BMCC are so out of touch with reality
  • very concerned over 9 years ago
    so it sounds like if your in business you can afford all rate hikes, land taxes and a few more levies. Why not the economy is booming in the blue mountains every body is flat out working. It sounds like from some of the comments it will be welcoming for landowners, rate payers why would it not be. So how many really get the $400 off or it will be $39 for most i'll bet. Can some one tell me why business should pay for this. This is the broke state at its best, but dont worry the council will hand all that money back to the people. A major set back for business in the mountains, what a shocker
  • Risky over 9 years ago
    Why should the residential rate payers sudsidise business rate payers? What's wrong with paying according to the services received. Everyone has a complaint about how little is done for them - it still comes down to paying your fair share - and business isn't paying their fair share. The only complaint I have is that council can't communicate examples of who gains and who pays more (other than business).
  • Martin over 9 years ago
    The information flow on this via the newsletter News from the Hill is quite inadequate. Hardly anything is said on this controversial issue, and the big question, how does it affect me, is not addressed at all. There is no web address and people are directed to the public exhibition, which is already closed and of course this is the internet age. Again inquiries have a phone number, not email or web.
  • pockets over 9 years ago
    After the expense of informing ratepayers of a possible change in rates, knowing the new rating subcategory is totally useless. Unless I am missing something, I would think that an estimate of the total rates bill for this new structure would have been more beneficial for us all. I know that you probably would get more negative response from those ratepeyers who will have a rate rise above the CPI + any additional approved DLG rise. Where can we see these figures?
  • LeanneS over 9 years ago
    I find it very hard to understand after looking through the documents online (and what is with No.2, all the same for 100 pages).
    So does it mean whether you are given an increase or decrease is based on services you receive or are close to in your area??
    I am in the mid-mountains and would seem a winner in being given a decrease, though I did not see any areas being given as much as $400, but I did notice areas such at Katoomba and Springwood being given decreases as well, though not as large. Are residents in these areas not closer to and have better services? Or am I missing the point.
    While it's nice to be given a rebate, I've given up on the mid-mountains being given any decent services and just expect to drive to everything.
    Sorry if I've got this wrong but I just wish council (and other organisations) would put things in plain English and not use all the business jargon if they want the average person to comment, especially when it affects them.
  • archer101 over 9 years ago
    It is completely inappropriate for a council to be deliberately trying to vary rates based on ability to pay. Legislation requires that you actually consider the cost of providing the services and who is consuming them. Therefore, I have some questions which ae not addressed in the Council submissions:

    1. Where is the evidence that people living in suburbs away from the major Council buildings actually receive a lower level of services than other residents, thus justifying the significant reduction in rates that they will now receive?
    2. At present, residents in remote areas pay more, as it clearly costs more to deliver Council services to these areas. This seems fair. However, the new system works on exactly the opposite principal - those who are near to the Council operations and in major townships pay more, despite the fact that it costs less to provide them with services. What is the justification for this?
    3. The documents claim that the Council will not receive a net increase in revenue from these changes. I am not so sure. The council documents ignore the effect of land revaluations which will mean that residents in major townships will face a double hit. Where are the forecasts of what the Council will ACTUALLY receive from each suburb as opposed to the current misleading information that simply tries to apply the changes to last years figures. How much will we ACTUALLY pay more.

    My own experience (Wentworth Falls) is that we are looking at around an 18% increase. Outrageous.
  • Ruralresidential over 9 years ago
    Rural residential properties are significantly disadvantaged. My rates will rise 20%. If the community is prepared to rezone my property rather than recatorgarise it for rating purposes that would make sense. Ruarl residential property owners' rights to use their land have continued to be eroded since LEP 1991 with the introduction of environmental protection zones. The ad valorem rating for the ruarl residential propertyies should be lower than that of farmland for two reasons: farmland is a non environmentally friendly commercial usage of the land; and the community has demanded through Council that property owners of Rural Residential land provide environmental protection areas on behalf of the community without just terms compensation.
  • Cruiser over 9 years ago
    The whole explanation by council of the workings of this and the explanation of how much is this going to cost ratepayers overall seems vague and deliberately misleading. I have read most of the PDF docs yet there seems no simple explanation of why the changes are being made. For example if you are in the same category/sub category in the same general areas why do the rates vary? I am concerned that council has another agenda here!
  • Fair go over 9 years ago
    This opening line is a really misleading sales pitch designed to get majority support from rate payers. There is so little detail that the comment is meaningless. One really has ask "What is council's motive?"
    Who is going to appreciate a token $39 pa rate reduction, less that a dollar a week, knowing that some people will be slugged an addition $1000 plus. Council has been mischievous with statistics to sell it's agenda.
  • fido's friend over 9 years ago
    Having spoken to council officers, I feel that the proposed increase for Leura and Katoomba is misguided. As a Leura resident for 30 years, I receive no more services than any other council areas. In addition, despite the 'rich Leura' stereotype, I am a self-funded retiree who will be seriously affected by the increase. There are also many other self-funded retirees and pensioners in my area who will be affected. The increase also fails to take into account the 'knock on effect' in Katoomba, which according to a University of Technology study, has very high unemployment and a large percentage of families on low incomes ( Any rate increases in Katoomba will inevitably be passed on by landlords to tenants. Is this extra burden on the already disadvantaged fair and equitable? The council officer I spoke to conceded this and simply said 'rates are a blunt instrument'. He also said that the projected rate increases for Katoomba/Leura were probably lower than the increases that will eventuate. This is because the proposed increase in business rates was going to offset any residential increase, but that the proposed business rate increase had almost no chance of getting up because the business lobby is powerful and very vocal, whereas the residential lobby isn't. In summary, the proposed rate increases are inequitable, unfair, ill-considered and unjustified. Uniform rating is the way to go as it does not make inaccurate discriminations which have no rational basis in things like services actually delivered. Councillors in Ward 1 should consider that there are many more residents voting than business owners, and when residents of Leura and Katoomba realise the full extent of the increases, they may well express their discontent at the ballot box.
    Hide reply (1)
    • jayman over 9 years ago
      THIS IS OUTRAGEOUS!!! I opened up the incompetently devised pdf document that repeated the same information for 100 pages, only to find WITHOUT REFERENCE TO WHETHER IT IS BY QUARTER OR ANNUAL THE INCREASE, WHICH IF A QUARTER REPRESENTS MORE THAN DOUBLE WHAT WE PAY IN RATES NOW!!! I also note that this matter has been given scant attention by the local newspaper, and that any attemPT to illicit a direct question about amounts is responded by the BMCC officer as being too difficult to state...if it is that idfficult, how are they working out the rates per house?

      This entire presentation is an OBVIOUS and MISLEADING and EVASIVE attempt to hide the fact that the 11 MILLION DOLLAR LOSS OF OUR RATES MONEY because of bad investments by the BMCC is now going to be gouged out of us again by doubling our rates.


      CAN YOU?


  • Chipster over 9 years ago
    I think that the residents, particularly tenants of the mountains have to be extremely sceptical and cautious here... one comment from council is that they believe these 'savings' to the house owner by some small reduction of rates in some areas will be passed onto the tenant. This is staff proposing preposterous ideas to make up for their own mismanagement of tax and ratepayers funds.
  • very concerned over 9 years ago
    In response to comments made by Risky 20/4/11

    Could any one out there tell me what kind of services council has ever offered to businesses in the blue mountains other than the tourism industry, i have two industrial blocks in the lovely blue mountains and i can not ever remember the council offering me any services. Why do people say business dosn't pay its fair share, we get nothing anyway.

    Maybe Risky knows the answer to the question. So the rates are now going to double, my land tax has already risen because the land is now apparently worth more money.

    So up will go the rent for the struggling business who rents the land, thats okay because, he has a business he must be rich.

    So whats next by the council, do those who say business can cop it really think that they are safe from the council. No, they will be next, don't worry they will find a nice name for it when it comes. Don't worry about complaining because you won't have a leg to stand on. I will get my $39 and put it towards next years rate rise.

    Who is the Council to talk about pensioners getting it a bit easier, your not Centrelink, your the Council. Why don't you ease pressure on business instead of making it harder, all you are doing is inventing work for yourselves. The Council is broke, when will they learn that inventing work will only in the long run leave us all with less services.


  • bike182mtb over 9 years ago
    with this rates increase for business.the person who put in
    " Why should the residential rate payers sudsidise business rate payers? What's wrong with paying according to the services received. Everyone has a complaint about how little is done for them - it still comes down to paying your fair share - and business isn't paying their fair share."
    has not thought about business there is a thing in your lease called "outgoings" which the business has to pay.rates are a part of outgoings "so the landlords will just pass on the costs increases to the business.
    now what does the business do ?.one of two things work the same for $3000 less per year{if he can } or pass it on to the people who shop in his business ?the only other thing they can do is cut back on in my wifes case thats what she is planing to do.if this goes ahead she will NOT put on a appprentice this year.over the passed 9 years we have trained 9 apprentices and employed 16 people all from the blue if you want to travel to penrith for a job[only if you dont have one with council]then go ahead and say yes to this.but if business close and they will.then any saving you get will be gone after pay for the petrol to get to penrith and backthe bottom line is mountains people will pay more for services and products if this rates increase goes ahead.maybe we could get council workers to work then we could all save

  • Kayjay over 9 years ago
    The way in which this has been communicated is deceptive and deliberately unclear. Blackheath it seems has a reduction of rates whereas Leura, Wentworthfalls and Katoomba all have an increase in the order if my calculations are correct of around $290 per annum. Why does the council hide this fact and not provide an easy to understand comparison betweeen 2010 and 2011 rates. Why are the rates in Leura increasing. Is the Council offering any better services to its currently pathetic service to compenasate for this? What services are being removed from the areas that will enjoy lower rates to justify their reduction? It seems to me clear that the Council is imposing increases to those areas that have a higher population density and a higher income demographic than the areas with a lower income and population demographic. Please explain how this is more FAIR!