The Victorian Government established the Fair Go Rates system to limit the maximum amount councils can increase rates in a year.
Under the Fair Go Rates system, we:
- provide advice to the Minister for Local Government on the annual rate cap and other matters
- assess and accept or reject council applications for a higher cap
- monitor and report annually on councils’ compliance with the minister’s cap or higher cap approved by the commission
- monitor and report every two years on the outcomes in the sector under the Fair Go Rates System
- provide guidance to the sector and undertake studies as required.
Rate caps help ensure councils deliver sustainable outcomes
Rate capping was introduced to promote the long term interests of ratepayers and the community in relation to sustainable outcomes in the delivery of services and critical infrastructure. It aims to ensure that a council has the financial capacity to perform its duties and functions and exercise its powers.
Before 31 December each year, the Minister for Local Government sets a rate cap for the next financial year, which is the maximum amount a council can increase general rates and municipal charges. The minister can set a cap that applies to all councils, a group of councils or a single council.
If the rate cap is insufficient for a council’s needs, the council can apply to us for a higher cap. Councils can apply for up to four years of higher caps at a time.
|13 October 2017||Submission close for the Measuring productivity in the local government sector|
|18 October 2017||Submissions close for the growth study|
|26 October 2017||Community engagement forum in Bendigo|
|31 October 2017||Annual compliance information due to the commission|
|November 2017||Workshops for council staff|
|November 2017||Commission publishes annual compliance report|
|December 2017||Minister announces rate cap for 2018-19|
|31 January 2018||Notice of intention to apply for a higher cap due to the commission|
|1 February – 31 March 2018||Councils submit higher cap applications|
|February – May 2018||Commission assesses higher cap applications|
|By 30 June 2018:||Councils formally adopt budgets|
|31 October 2018||Annual compliance information due to the commission|
|November 2018||Commission publishes annual compliance report|