Learn about your rights as a council ratepayer.
Information for ratepayers
In Victoria, council rate increases are limited by a cap set by the Minister for Local Government (or a higher cap approved by us). The minister sets a rate cap for each financial year, and can set a cap that applies to all councils, a group of councils or a single council. The rate cap is based on the consumer price index plus or minus any adjustments.
The change in your council rates may not be the same as the rate cap
Rate caps apply to the average rate in each municipality. Your individual rate bill may be different because:
- the value of your property may increase or decrease relative to other properties in your municipality
- other charges and levies in rates bill that are not subject to the cap, such as the waste charge, may have increased or decreased. The cap applies to the general rates and municipal charges only.
- the rate cap is applied differently depending on whether your property is classed residential, commercial or rural. These types of rates are classified as differential rates.
For further information on the rate cap policy and how your rate cap has been calculated, visit the Local Government Victoria website.
We have four key roles in the rates capping system
- We advise the Minister for Local Government on setting the rate cap for council rates. As part of this work, we consider whether the rate cap promotes sustainable outcomes for delivery of key services and critical infrastructure (such as garbage collection and park maintenance). We also consider whether the rate cap ensure that a council has the financial capacity to operate effectively.
- We assess higher cap applications submitted to us by local councils.
- We produce annual council monitoring reports on whether councils are complying with the rate cap.
- We report on the outcomes of the rate capping system every two years. The first outcomes report will be released in early 2019.