Confusion surrounding rates harmonisation will hopefully be cleared up at Dubbo Regional Council's upcoming Q&A session.
Changes have to be made to the way rates are calculated in the local government area following the amalgamation of Dubbo and Wellington councils. Under the current system, the Dubbo rate structure and the Wellington rate structures are calculated differently.
Council needs to harmonise rates for the residential, business and farmland categories.
The harmonisation will lead to some residents seeing their rates increase, while for others their bill will go down.
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Council's chief financial officer Michael Howlett said the purpose of Thursday's Q&A session was to answer as many questions as possible about the rates harmonisation, and how the changes would affect them.
The community has been asked to submit questions prior to the session, but questions will also be taken from people who are watching via the livestream.
Concerns around planning and zoning will also be addressed.
"We have received a number of enquiries about rating categories, with some people finding out their category might be different to what they thought it was and now they're worried it means things will change. This definitely isn't the case, and we want to explain to people why their rating category doesn't affect planning and zoning," Mr Howlett said.
For properties classified as residential ordinary, the minimum a ratepayer will pay is $544.
For residential urban areas the minimum rates will be $715.70, while in residential Firgrove and residential Richmond the minimum will be $699.60. Areas classified as residential village and residential Geurie will have a minimum if $565 and in residential Wellington it will be $540.
To help residents understand where they have been categorised, a letter has been sent to ratepayers, and council said an explanatory flyer would also be included in the next round of rates notices.
Council has also developed a rates calculator for anyone who wants to estimate what their rates bill for 2021/22 will be. It can be accessed online through the council website.
The Q&A session will be held on Thursday, May 13 at 5.30pm. Places are limited so to book a spot or submit a question head to the council website.
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