Businesses face big rates rises

BLACKTOWN City ratepayers' bills will increase by 5.3 per cent this year and 3 per cent the next.

But it's big business that will feel the strongest sting, when rates go up 12.3 per cent this year and 13 per cent the next.

Deputy mayor Russ Dickens said he voted against these rate increases on Wednesday.

He was opposed to any rate rises, but especially for businesses.

"I think we should give them a rate decrease," Cr Dickens said.

A council paper sets out seven new business subcategories that will be subject to the 12.3 per cent and 13 per cent rate rises:

■ Business - Blacktown North;

■ Business - M4 Corridor;

■ Business - Marsden Park;

■ Business - Mount Druitt;

■ Business - Riverstone;

■ Business - Rooty Hill and Glendenning;

■ Business — Seven Hills.

The business (general) category, which mayor Len Robinson referred to as "small business", will experience the same rate increases as residents.

"The average business rates are $7000 [so] it's going to go up $14 a week," Cr Robinson said.

"People get pay rises bigger than that.

"Even with the extra 10 per cent people would be paying very reasonable commercial rates in Blacktown compared to other areas."

The mayor used his casting vote to approve all the rate variations, saying the council had no choice.

"They elected us with a $68 million black hole," he said.

"We have to find an extra $10 million over 10 years to get this back under control."

Rather than reducing the pensioner rebate, council would look at other ways to reduce costs.

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