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Rate Cap Makes History For Victorian Councils

30 June 2016

The Andrews Labor Government’s Fair Go Rates system takes effect from tomorrow, officially ending the uncontrollable rate rises seen across Victoria over the past 10 years.

Fair Go Rates caps the increase in total revenue a council can collect through general rates and municipal charges for 2016-17 at 2.5 per cent.

With an average rate increase of 6 per cent every year for the last decade, it was clear that a new system was needed to help alleviate the cost of living pressures on Victorians.

As a result of the Labor Government’s action, average rate bills will increase at a lower rate than they had over the past decade.

Victorian councils have indicated that if not for the rate cap they would have continued to increase rates at a similar rate – many to try and make up for the Federal Government’s cuts since 2014.

That would have been unsustainable, and it would have hit the hip pocket of every ratepayer in Victoria.

Due to changes in relative property values, some ratepayers’ bills will increase by less than the cap and some by more. All rates increases are lower than they would have been if not for the cap.

Fair Go Rates is part of the Labor Government’s agenda to reform the local government sector, including a review of the Local Government Act, an overhaul of council governance standards and an improved performance reporting framework.

Details outlining the average rate increases and this year’s increase are available at: Link

Quotes attributable to Minister for Local Government Natalie Hutchins

“Everyone paying rates this year can be rest assured their bill won’t be as high as it could have been if we didn’t introduce the Fair Go Rates system.”

“It’s important to note that Fair Go Rates doesn’t stop councils providing local services. What it does is improve accountability and transparency of councils, and ensure they’re listening to the needs of their communities.”

“This makes sure councils are now considering the costs of living when they make decisions.”

Reviewed 19 August 2020

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