Fair rates and council transparency for Armidale regional council

Fair rates and council transparency for Armidale regional council

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Joshua Fittler started this petition to Viv May (Armidale regional council interim admini)

We, the citizens of Armidale Regional Council, formally register our objection to:

1) The rise in land and water rates,

2) The lack of a publicly available operating budget for the council’s operations.

 

In Armidale, rates have gone up by an average of 3.5% per year for the last 10 years. If you include other charges, that figure looks more like 3.8%. The rate of inflation has only been about 2.5% per year in that time. In fact real estate prices have only gone up by 1% per year over that same 10 year period. If rates are going up at a faster rate than growth, then the proportion of a persons income that is spent on rates is increasing. High taxes cripple economies. Armidale’s economy has evidently grown little in that time. Is this the last increase in rates? The last rate rise 7 years ago certainly wasn’t.


High rates affect ratepayers and renters in the community alike. Landlords have to increase rents and therefore it’s harder to find tenants. Tenants have to pay higher rents and homeowners have less finances available for reducing their debt and making home improvements.

High rates also discourage new business from coming to a town. This reduces job prospects for young people, which reduces population growth, reducing house prices (in comparison with prosperous towns) as well as reducing house affordability, because so much of a person’s income is going into rates instead of paying off their home.

Why are our rates so high?

The truth is, we don’t really know!

There is a complete lack of transparency in our council. I have recently (more than 10 days ago) asked for a copy of Armidale regional council’s budget for the year and I have had no response. I am unable to find one on their website and neither is anyone else I ask. Meanwhile, if I look on Inverell council’s website, there is a copy of their budget plain for the whole world to see!

How can we have fair rates without transparency? We simply cannot. If we can see where our money is being spent we can provide feedback as to where we are happy to make budget cuts.

Please join our cause with a simple click to help make our region more liveable for all!

0 have signed. Let’s get to 1,000!
At 1,000 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!