Newspaper article Daily Examiner (Grafton, Australia)

Rates Issue Deemed Too Hot to Settle

Newspaper article Daily Examiner (Grafton, Australia)

Rates Issue Deemed Too Hot to Settle

Article excerpt

Byline: GRAHAM ORAMS graham.orams@dailyexaminer.com.au

IT came as a total surprise, but under the circumstances, it may have been the best choice.

Few other council matters have got people as hot under the collar as the vexed issue of rates parity across the Valley.

Since amalgamation, home and business owners have argued over the difference in the price of rates between Grafton and the Lower River.

This month, council staff presented councillors with documentation recommending moving towards virtual business-rates parity across the Valley.

The five-year plan involved incrementally lowering Grafton business rates, while increasing Lower River business rates until they reached a virtual equalisation.

Not surprisingly, both sides of the debate a Lower versus Upper River, in general a came out fighting in defence of their position.

While Grafton businesses argued it was only fair Lower River businesses paid the same level of rates as they did, the latter argued they didn't receive the same council services or customer traffic as Grafton. …

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