BUSINESSES will have to fork out less cash for Tamworth Regional Council’s new events levy.
Councillors wrangled over the special rate variation with most agreeing it was not ‘the right time’ to introduce a hike.
Instead, council slashed the new rate to just six per cent over three years as opposed to nine per cent across three.
“While painful to put across the community in the short term, in the long term this will have significant ongoing benefits,” councillor Phil Betts said.
The first bill will come in July 2020 if it’s approved by tariff watchdog, the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal [IPART].
The aim of the levy is to increase Tamworth’s bidding power when new events come under the auctioneer’s hammer.
Mark Rodda was the only councillor who opposed the levy, he argued council should “do the utmost” to protect small business.
“We talk about small business being the powerhouse or engine room of the economy but we can’t take every opportunity for another charge and I think small businesses expect more from us, I can’t support this tonight,” he said.
The controversial levy stirred up debate in the business community, with some business owners concerned they wouldn’t see the kick back.
At this stage there is no definite strategy to attract new events, but mayor Col Murray said it was better to lock in the funds now.
While painful to put across the community in the short term, in the long term this will have significant ongoing benefits.Phil Betts
“We’re already on the brink of trying to find remaining efficiencies to not reduce services,” he said.
“The opportunity is there to bring events to the city, if the revenue isn’t there I’m not sure what the community can expect.
“This is a positive way of accessing some funds to support the desires of the community.”
The money is reserved exclusively for new events to be staged in the off-peak periods.