In December, Minister for Local Government Marlene Kairouz announced a rate cap of 2.25 per cent for the 2018–19 financial year in line with inflation and advice from the commission.
The rate cap is the maximum percentage increase allowable in councils’ average rates for the financial year ahead. Councils have until 31 March 2018 to apply for a rate increase above the cap.
If any council considers the cap insufficient for its needs, they can apply to the commission for a higher percentage but in doing so, must demonstrate a long-term funding need, supported by good long-term financial planning.
As at 20 March 2018, the City of Monash is the only council to have notified the Essential Services Commission that they intend to apply for a rate increase above the cap set by the minister.
* 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**