Victorian council rate rises will be capped to the rate of inflation, 2.5%, for 2016/17.
Minister for Local Government Natalie Hutchins announced the Fair Go Rates cap today, keeping an election commitment to cap council rate rises to theConsumer Price Index (CPI).
Having passed the Parliament earlier this month, the Andrews Labor Government’s Fair Go Rates system will protect ratepayers from uncontrolled rate rises, which have on average risen 6% every year for the past decade.
Ms Hutchins set the cap based on Melbourne CPI for the next financial year, as forecast by the Victorian Treasury.
Fair Go Rates is just one part of the Labor Government’s local government reform agenda, which also includes a review of the Local Government Act, an overhaul of council governance standards and KnowYourCouncil.vic.gov.au.
Any council wishing to apply for a higher cap has until 31 March to apply to the ESC and will be expected to demonstrate extensive consultation with their local communities.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Local Government Natalie Hutchins
“We committed to capping council rates to inflation and putting an end to uncontrolled rate rises. We’re delivering on that promise.”
“The Fair Go Rates cap doesn’t stop councils taking on new projects. Instead it ensures councils are listening to local residents and responding to their needs.”
“The Fair Go Rates cap will increase the transparency and accountability of councils across the state.”