Blacktown Councillors will debate next week whether to apply for a Special Rate Variation (SRV) to fund council’s asset renewal projects in the future.
A council report recommends it notify IPART by December 13 of plans to apply for a SPV to increase rates above the rate pegging limit in 2014-15.
If approved, ratepayers will see a rate increase of up to eight per cent from mid next year.
Around 73 per cent of residential ratepayers are paying the minimum rate of $830.
‘‘This means that for 73 per cent of residential ratepayers, an increase of eight per cent above the assumed pegging rate of 2.75 per cent in the 2014-5 financial year would equate to an annual increase of $89.23 in their rates or an additional $1.72 per week in rates,’’ the report said.
Council’s outstanding asset renewal backlog was $68 million as of June 30.
If current funding levels for asset renewal was sustained, the backlog is forcecasted to be $139 million in 10 years time and $758 million in 20 years time.
The report recommends an annual $10 million funding increase for asset renewal to reduce future backlogs to a more manageable level.
Council has not exceeded the rate variation limit since rate pegging was introduced in 1977.
It was initially determined by the state government but has been IPART’s responsibility since 2011-12.
An extensive community engagement and communication plan will be implemented to consult the public if the report is endorsed next week.
It would need to commence before the end of the year and include a community survey.
Council is expected to present more details this week.
Labor councillors said they will oppose moves to increase rates above the approved rate pegged amount.