Rates to rise in Newcastle, Lake Macquarie

NEWCASTLE and Lake Macquarie ratepayers will pay more from next year, after the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal approved Newcastle’s proposed rates increase and partially approved Lake Macquarie’s plans.

Lake Macquarie residents will be hit with an increase of 57.48 per cent over seven years.

‘‘We estimate that average residential rates will increase by $93 in 2012-13 and average business rates will increase by $460 in 2012-13, compared with the rates paid in 2011-12,’’ an IPART spokeswoman said.

Lake Macquarie had applied for an increase of of 73.24 per cent.

Newcastle City Council applied for a one-off increase of 8.6 per cent - or five per cent above the 3.6 per cent rates cap for 2012/13.

The city will use its additional rates income to fund several long-awaited projects, including the Newcastle Art Gallery redevelopment, upgrades to Blackbutt Reserve and inland swimming pools, improvements to cycleways and the revitalisation of Hunter Street.

Muswellbrook Council has also been given approval to increase its mining rates by 7.6 per cent next year.

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