HOME owners in Tamworth could be hit with the biggest rate hike in years next financial year, as councils battle high inflation.
The Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) has set Tamworth Regional Council's rate peg - the maximum amount it can raise rates - for the 2023-24 financial year at 3.7 per cent.
It follows anger from local governments when IPART set the rate peg at a historically low 0.7 per cent last year, which saw councils across the state, including Tamworth, apply for special variations.
Tamworth mayor Russell Webb told the Leader while it's good to see the pricing watchdog recognise the impact of inflation, the rise won't cover the increased cost of running council services.
"I think the rate cap last year was so out of touch with reality that this year they've had to have quite a rethink," he said.
"Everybody in our community is feeling the impact of inflation, everybody in the community is feeling the impact of the Consumer Price Index rising."
IPART has set the peg higher in areas with "rapid population growth", including Gunnedah, which inched its way into the category with a 3.8 per cent peg.
Gwydir Shire Council is the only other council in the region to receive a rate peg higher than the baseline, with 4.1 per cent.
Cr Webb said he would like to see IPART's methodology for identifying growth be reviewed.
"Cities like Camden, and other councils have received greater increases and rates because of population growth, but Tamworth has seen an increase in population, and about 400 homes built in the last 12 months," he said.
"With the methodology that IPART is using, they don't recognize that as growth. So that is disappointing."
It will be up to individual councils to decide whether to adopt the full rate peg.
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