Local councils rate cap set for 2018–19

21-Dec-2017 1:59 PM

Victoria’s 79 local councils have until 31 March 2018 to apply for a rate increase above the 2.25% cap set by the Minister for Local Government, Marlene Kairouz.

The minister has announced the average rate cap, which is the maximum percentage increase allowable in councils’ average rates for the forthcoming financial year.

If any council considers the average rate cap is insufficient for its needs, the council can apply to the Essential Services Commission for a higher percentage.

The Victorian Government established the rate cap under the Fair Go Rates system in 2015 to ‘address concerns over increasing rates’.1

A council seeking to increase rates above the minister’s cap has to demonstrate a long-term funding need, supported by good long-term financial planning. 

Applications for variations from the rate cap for the 2018–19 financial year must be lodged with the commission by 31 March 2018.
 
Fair Go Rates system – key dates Timeframe
The minister published the rate cap in the Government Gazette 19 December 2017
A council seeking approval for a higher cap notifies the commission of intention to apply By 31 January 2018
A council sends application for a higher cap, with budget baseline information 1 February – 31 March 2018
The commission assesses council applications February – May 2018
The commission notifies councils of decisions Within two months of receipt of application
Councils formally adopt budget No later than June 2018

More information, including detailed guidance material for councils, is on the commission’s website at www.esc.vic.gov.au.
 
1. https://www.localgovernment.vic.gov.au/our-programs/a-fair-go-rates-system-for-victorians

For further information call: Siobhan Argent, Senior Communication Adviser,
Strategic Communication, 9032 1437