Each year the Minister for Local Government (the Minister) will set the rate cap that will specify the maximum increase in councils’ rates and charges for the forthcoming financial year. The Minister’s rate cap for the 2017/18 rating year is 2 per cent. In circumstances where the rate cap is insufficient for a specific council’s needs, it can apply to the Essential Services Commission for a higher cap. In considering whether to approve a higher cap, the Commission will have regard to:
- the proposed higher cap and the specified year(s) that it will apply
- the reasons for which the council seeks the higher cap
- how the views of ratepayers and the community have been taken into account in proposing the higher cap
- how the higher cap is an efficient use of council resources and represents value for money
- whether consideration has been given to reprioritising proposed expenditures and alternative funding options and why the council does not consider those options to be adequate
- that the assumptions and proposals in the application are consistent with the council’s long term strategy and financial management policies set out in the council’s planning documents and annual budget.
For the 2017/18 rating year councils have until 31 May 2017 to apply for a higher cap. To date we have received an application from Pyrenees Shire Council. The application is below.
|Higher cap being sought (including Minister’s rate cap)|
|Pyrenees Shire Council||3.5%||3.5%||na||na|
The Commission will endeavour to notify councils of its decision in respect of an application within two months of receipt.