Tamworth Regional Council looking into new levy on local businesses during major events

TOLL TALK: Council looking into hitting businesses with new fee during major events such as the Country Music Festival. Photo: Gareth Gardner
TOLL TALK: Council looking into hitting businesses with new fee during major events such as the Country Music Festival. Photo: Gareth Gardner

COUNCIL is considering implementing a new levy to raise revenue from local businesses which benefit from major events hosted in the region.

Tamworth mayor Col Murray will float the idea at Tuesday’s council meeting in a rare mayoral minute.

“These events come at a cost to council, and by extension, the rate paying community of the Tamworth region,’’ Cr Murray said.

“It is important that council is proactive in ensuring those who benefit most from the attraction, management and subsidisation of major events are also making an appropriate contribution towards the cost of hosting those events.”

Cr Murray said the Tamworth Country Music Festival injects up to $70 million a year into the local economy.

“The principal beneficiaries are accommodation providers, hotels, restaurants, cafes and retailers who see an enormous surge in their turnover during this period,” he said.

“Anecdotal evidence suggests that some businesses may earn as much revenue during the Festival as they do for the remainder of the year.

“Other major sporting events, concerts, festivals and conferences also benefit these business sectors albeit with a smaller financial return.

The mayor expects parts of the community may oppose the introduction of any new levy but believes it is important to investigate what options are permitted under the Local Government Act.

A consultation process giving the community a chance to tell Council what they think about any revenue proposal will be part of the General Manager’s report.

It’s not clear how much businesses would have to pay, if a levy was introduced.

More to come.

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