COUNCIL has not allocated enough funds in its forward budget to pay for the soaring costs of running the local election.
While the NSW Government pays for core election costs, most councils choose to engage the NSW Electoral Commission (NSWEC) to administer elections.
The NSWEC's proposed charges to administer next year's local government elections are substantially higher than the costs councils incurred for the 2016 election.
With all 128 NSW councils to hold an election in September 2020, some mayors in the region say it is ratepayers who will foot the bill for the higher costs.
Orange City Council paid the NSWEC $238,000 in 2016 to run the election, but the cost for next year's election will jump by $82,000 to $320,000 (up 34.5 per cent).
Dubbo council's cost will increase from $291,000 to $356,000 (up 22.3 per cent); while Bathurst's will go up from $236,000 to $284,000 (20.3 per cent).
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An Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) review of local government elections costs found that "the market for local government election services is currently a near-monopoly".
"This, and the very sharp increases in costs proposed by the NSWEC, highlights the need to review the efficiency of the NSWEC's proposed costs and to regulate prices, at least in the short-term," the review stated.
Orange council corporate and community relations manager Nick Redmond said council had not budgeted for such a large increase in costs.
"Orange City Council has been putting funds into a reserve since the last election to cover the expected costs, however this amount is more than expected," he said.
"Council understands the NSW government is looking at picking up the shortfall, and we're looking forward to a positive consideration of that."
Mr Redmond said in the past Orange council had organised its own elections, but the NSWEC had "established expertise in this area".
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