Tenterfield is the only local government area in the New England region that is not increasing rates above 0.7 per cent in the coming financial year.
Although Tenterfield Shire Council did not apply for a special rate variation for the 2022-2023 financial year, and received suggestions from a group of residents who brainstormed cost saving ideas, it is considering submitting an application by September for the next budget year.
"Like many councils across NSW, Tenterfield Shire Council is grappling with soaring costs for materials, fuel, electricity, insurance and inflation," said Tenterfield Shire Council chief executive Daryl Buckingham.
"As such, council is implementing service reductions as a cost-saving strategy. Council is also analysing possible rate increases via a special rate variation by an amount yet to be determined by the council."
Glen Innes Severn Council general manager Craig Bennet said there were obstacles for council to overcome before adopting resident group ideas.
"They may come up with suggested cost savings or revenue opportunities but...the rest of the community may not agree," Mr Bennet said. "They [council] will need to consult the rest of the community."
James Roncon said Armidale Regional Council was often approached by members of the community with 'all manner of suggestions' about how council might be able to save money, generate revenues or a combination of the two.
"Personally I really appreciate those type of approaches from people for a few reasons; it demonstrates interest in the local community and there are sometimes pearls of wisdom you can seek to take on board," Mr Roncon said.
"It also provides an opportunity for us to explain the role of local councils, the constraints we work within and why we might not be able to act in a particular way."
The Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) approved all applications made by New England councils and eighty-one other NSW councils to increase their rates above the level of the annual rate peg.
The 'modest increases' were approved for Armidale Regional Council, Glen Innes Severn Council, Inverell Shire Council, Moree Shire Council and Uralla Shire Council following an additional special variation process.
The decision to allow councils to increase their rates by a maximum of 2.5 per cent, against an inflation rate expected to reach 7 per cent by December, has been welcomed by the state's local government sector.
Each year IPART calculate a rate peg which sets how much councils can increase the revenue they collect from rates.
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