Covid rates concession wound back

BAYSWATER council will soon begin the long process of unpicking its complex rates system after giving some homeowners a “Covid-19 concession” in last year’s budget.

The strange concession, dubbed “not fair” by a minority of councillors who voted against it, effectively made sure everyone’s rates bill for 2020 was no higher than their 2019 bill.  

But that ended up disadvantaging some who were up for a rates decrease, while those who should’ve got a bigger bill were laughing.

For Bayswater’s January 27 meeting its finance team has recommended winding down the Covid-19 concession. 

The amount the council takes in via rates will stay at just under $49m, but houses in struggle street will no longer subsidise their trendy neighbours.

To avoid the richer suburbs getting a double-whammy of two years’ increase in one, the bean counters have suggested a phasing out of the concession, leaving it to the CEO to come up with the detail based on how the economy fairs over the coming months.

That strategy will go back to councillors for a vote before before budget time.

by DAVID BELL

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