Cowra Shire has welcomed the announcement from the NSW Government it is going to review the collection of the Emergency Service Levy.
"The way it is collected presently, only from those NSW residents who have insurance and pay rates is not fair or equitable," Cowra mayor Ruth Fagan told the Cowra Guardian.
Cr Fagan's view on the levy has received support from the president of Local Government NSW Cr Darriea Turley AM who said a review of the levy collection methodology was long overdue.
"Councils have been shouldering the burden of the increased cost of emergency services for too long," Cr Turley said.
"This has made it incredibly difficult for councils to budget and provide the services ratepayers expect.
"Presently the State's 128 councils collect 11.7% of the finances which fund emergency services -Fire and Rescue, the Rural Fire Service and the State Emergency Service.
"Collecting the levy via council rates has to stop," Cr Turley said.
Cr Fagan pointed out the levy is not collected from crown land, forests, national parks or people who don't have insurance and yet Emergency Services are expected to turn up to every disaster.
"For too long Council ratepayers have had this ESL item hidden and included in the rate notice.
"A good start would be to separate this item on the rate notices."
Cr Fagan has urged the State Government to change the funding model and collect a broad base land tax which would see Emergency Services funded by all NSW residents.
"All emergency services should be fully funded and levies collected by state government, not local government," Cr Fagan said.