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 councils across NSW to hold an election on September 12, 2020, some mayors in the region say it is ratepayers who will foot the bill for the higher costs.
Bathurst council paid the NSWEC $236,000 in 2016 to run the election, but the cost for next year's election will jump by $48,000 (20.3 per cent) to $284,000.
Orange City Council will have a larger increase, with the cost jumping from $238,000 to $320,000 (up 34.6 per cent); while Dubbo Regional Council's cost went up from $291,000 to $356,000 (up 22.3 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.
Bathurst council general manager David Sherley said the cost of the elections was recently considered during a council meeting.
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.Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal review
"Council has made representations to the minister about the cost increase and is currently awaiting a response," he said.
"Council will consider options available when a response has been received.
"The cost of the next elections will be included for consideration in the 2020/2021 budget.
Mr Sherley said while council had resolved to have its election run by the NSWEC, it would continue to review this.
Dubbo council chief executive officer Michael McMahon said the 2020 election cost estimate was higher than what was expected and council does not have adequate funds allocated in the forward budget.
"The preparation of the 2020/2021 budget is in the very early stages and it has not yet been identified where this additional funding will be sourced from," he said.
Mr McMahon said this was not a cost-shift by the NSW Government onto local councils and Dubbo council had not considered running its own elections at this stage.
Orange council did not response to requests for comment on this story.
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