Victoria’s 79 local councils have until 31 March 2018 to apply for a rate increase above the 2.25 per cent cap set by the Minister for Local Government, the Hon Marlene Kairouz, MP.
The minister has announced the average rate cap, which is the maximum percentage increase allowable in councils’ average rates for the forthcoming financial year.
If any council considers the average rate cap is insufficient for its needs, the council can apply to the Essential Services Commission for a higher percentage.
The Victorian Government established the rate cap under the Fair Go Rates system in 2015 to ‘address concerns over increasing rates’.
A council seeking to increase rates above the minister’s cap has to demonstrate a long-term funding need, supported by good long-term financial planning.
Applications for variations from the rate cap for the 2018–19 financial year must be lodged with the commission by 31 March 2018.
* Not a requirement, the ‘intention to notify’ date is intended to help smooth the application process by providing councils early advice and support.
** All applications are published on the commission’s website.
Fair Go Rates system – key dates
The minister published the rate cap in the Government Gazette
19 December 2017
A council seeking approval for a higher cap notifies the commission of intention to apply*
By 31 January 2018
Councils submit their applications for a higher cap**