View resources that aim to help councils apply for a higher cap, meet our reporting requirements and comply with the rate cap set by the minister or an approved higher cap.
Guidance for councils applying for a higher cap
Councils seeking a higher cap need to apply for a higher cap by 31 March each year.
The application needs to set out:
- the proposed higher cap for each specified financial year
- the reasons why the council is seeking the higher cap
- how the views of ratepayers and the community have been considered in proposing the higher cap
- how the higher cap is an efficient use of council resources and represents value for money
- whether other funding options have been considered and why those options are not adequate
- that the assumptions and proposals in the application are consistent with the council’s long term strategy and financial management policies.
Key dates in the higher cap applications process
We follow a consistent timeline for each higher cap application cycle. Dates listed here are approximate.
|Item||Deadline (each year)|
|The Minister for Local Government publishes the rate cap in the Victoria Government Gazette||Date determined by the minister|
|Councils intending to apply for a higher cap may notify us*||31 January|
|Councils submit their applications for a higher cap, which we publish on our website||1 February to 31 March|
|We assess council applications||February to May|
|We notify councils about our findings||Within two months of receiving a council's higher cap application|
|Councils formally adopt their budgets||No later than June|
* Councils are not required to complete this step. But notifying us helps us give councils early advice and support.
Guidance and templates
In December 2021, we held an information session for councils about our role and our approach to administering the rate capping framework. This extract of the presentation from the information session summarises our process and approach to assessing higher cap applications.
Community engagement resources
These resources aim to help councils effectively engage with their communities about higher cap applications.