Cootamundra-Gundagai Regional Council will consider discounting rates for Cootamundra clubs and other not-for-profit organisations at its regular monthly meeting this Tuesday night, according to the mayor, Councillor Abb McAlister.
Cr McAlister was responding to reports in the Herald website and in social media that clubs and societies would be slugged with steep rate rises in the coming year.
He said these reports were jumping the gun, overlooking the fact that it was normal procedure for council to consider discounting rates for not-for-profits at the first meeting at which it voted on the overall rate structure.
"Every year councils set their fees and charges - they may stay the same, they may differ," Cr McAlister said.
"Ours are differing this year.
"At the council meeting on Tuesday night we'll adopt the fees and charges and then we'll also decide about discounts for community-based not-for-profit organisations.
"We can't put out any discounts until we've adopted the rates. It has to be done in conjunction. I can't say yet what or how the discounts will be applied, but they will certainly be discussed on Tuesday night."
He also refuted claims that Gundagai Golf Club did not pay rates, saying this only applied to the part of the golf course that is Crown land.
"The rest of it, where there are two big buildings, the car park, the tennis court area they pay rates on, they paid rates of $36,000 for.
"And they don't get any discount on the water, like the Coota clubs have had.
"Their water last year was $22,000, that's only to run the club and the two bowling greens - the golf course proper is watered by retreated effluent, the same as Cootamundra."
On rates harmonisation between Gundagai and Cootamundra, Cr McAlister said rates for farmers in the former Cootamundra shire would go up more than for farmers at Gundagai, while it would be vice-versa for town residents, with Gundagai residential rates going up more than Cootamundra's
"The fees and charges will go up across the board, but in the land we put a base rate of $374 on everyone's land, then add a percentage in the dollar of the value of the land.
"So if you've got 2,000 acres you'll pay less than the farmer who's got 6,000 acres - it's the only fair way you can do it."