The last of the public meetings has been held on Tamworth Regional Council’s new-events levy, but stakeholders can still have a say until December 14.
The council has lodged a notification that it intends to apply for a special rates variation for the levy on businesses, but a spokesperson said it was not a “done deal”.
“We have signalled to IPART our intention, so we’re on the radar, but that doesn’t necessarily mean we will apply, and consideration won’t be given until we complete the consultation process, which is the 14th of December.”
IPART required those notifications by November 30; formal applications are due by February 11, 2019.
The spokesperson said people could get in touch by writing to the council or by visiting yourvoice.tamworth.nsw.gov.au/special-rate-variation-new-events.
That site also has more information and a calculator to help business ratepayers see what their levy would be.
People at meetings have asked whether it is fair to levy only businesses, whether non-tourism businesses will benefit, how the $600,000 to be raised over three years will be shared out, and whether towns and villages will see any wins.
The Leader spoke to several business owners in outlying towns this week, and most were positive about how the idea could benefit the region, and businesses directly or indirectly.
DAG Sheep Station’s John Krsulja said: “Anything that benefits Tamworth benefits us all; we have to be thinking collectively”.
“It’s a trickle-on effect: because one company did really well from a couple of events, they’re pouring a new driveway, and they’ve still got their doors open a year later to allow someone coming into town to get employed,” he said as an example.