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. Rate caps can apply to all councils, a group of councils or a single council. The cap is based on the consumer price index plus or minus any adjustments.
Having difficulty paying your council rates?
If you are having difficulty paying your rates, you should contact your council using the contact details provided on your rates notice. Most councils have a policy to assist ratepayers suffering financial hardship and options might include deferral of rates payments or payment plans. The details of these policies and the application process will vary between councils.
Changes in your rates may not match the rate cap
Rate caps apply to the average rate in each municipality.
Your individual rate bill may be different depending on:
- the value of your property relative to other properties in your municipality
- other charges and levies in rates bills not subject to the cap, such as the waste charge. The cap only applies to the general rates and municipal charges.
- your property classification (residential, commercial or rural). This is because the way councils distribute the amount of rate revenue they collect across these classifications may vary.
The Local Government Victoria website has more information on the rate cap policy and how your rate cap is calculated
Our role in the rates capping system
We have four key roles in the rates capping system
Firstly, we advise the Minister for Local Government on setting the rate cap for council rates. In doing so, we consider:
- whether the rate cap promotes sustainable outcomes for delivery of key services and critical infrastructure (such as garbage collection and park maintenance)
- whether the rate cap ensure that a council has the financial capacity to operate effectively.
We then assess higher cap applications submitted to us by local councils.
We also regularly report on