Shoalhaven City Council has voted to increase all rate categories by 2.6 per cent for the 2020/21 financial year.
At an extra ordinary meeting on Tuesday, June 30 councillors adopted the 2020/21 budget by eight votes to four, which included a 2.6 per cent rate rise.
The 2.6 per cent hike is the same as the NSW IPART (Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal) rate peg for councils, which is maximum amount a council can seek to increase rates by without applying for a special variation.
Shoalhaven Mayor Amanda Findley said although the two million dollar increase was small compared to the total budget, projects quickly accumulate.
"When you start adding $50,000 for a park and $30,000 for a footpath, all those projects add up really quickly," she said.
"It just means council can continue to do things the community wants, council continually gets requests for more services and more infrastructure.
"So continuing to raise rates at a nominal amount just means council can continue to try and meet the expectations of the community, although the expectations are really high compared to the rate take overall."
Cr Mitchell Pakes, who voted against the budged, said some community members would struggle to find the extra money.
"Quite frankly the residents of this city have been through hell, starting at the beginning of the year with the bushfires and moving into the COVID-19 disaster," he said.
"Council is in a very healthy position, financial-wise... I think it's very distasteful and very disappointing.
"I was happy to go into the community and talk about what projects we'd have to delay in order to stop this rate increase, because I honestly believe a lot of people will just simply not be able to afford it."
For: Crs Alldrick, Digiglio, Findley, Gartner, Gash, Levett, Wells and White.
Against: Crs Guile, Pakes, Proudfoot and Watson.
Absent: Cr Kitchener.