CONCERNS from the business community about the cost of rates would need further discussion before any changes could be made, according to Orange's mayor.
State government figures posted rates at $6336 in Orange compared with $3751 in other regional cities on average, prompting the Orange Business Chamber to respond the cost did not help businesses in an already competitive market.
Cr Kidd said the council could reconsider business rates if business groups sought a meeting.
"I would suggest what we need is a proposal to [Orange City] Council from those bodies representing the businesses so we can sit down - perhaps we can have a forum to discuss if this is a major issue," he said.
"I would only be too happy to be involved."
I have never had anyone approach me to raise their concerns that the price of their property has risen.Councillor Tony Mileto
Once discussions were held, Cr Kidd said any proposed changes could then be put to the council.
Cr Kidd was not surprised to see the size of the business rate in the report, but pointed out the council provided several services other councils did not and the community expected gardens to be maintained.
"But they do come at a cost," he said.
Economic development committee chairman and councillor Tony Mileto agreed it was important to keep the big picture in mind.
"Our farming rates are lower than the group average, but because we don't have much farm land, other sectors have to contribute more," he said.
Cr Mileto said Armidale, Albury, Wagga Wagga and Dubbo were also well above the group average in their business rates.
"I have never had anyone approach me to raise their concerns that the price of their property has risen."
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