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Special Variations and Minimum Rates

Local councils that are seeking special variations to general income above the rate peg limit, or are seeking to increase minimum rate levels above the statutory limit, are required to submit applications to IPART for review and assessment.


A special rate variation allows a council to increase its general income above the rate peg, under the provisions of the Local Government Act 1993 (NSW). There are two types of special rate variations that a council may apply for:

  • a single year variation (section 508(2)) or
  • a multi-year variation for between 2 to 7 years (section 508A).

We have produced three information videos to help councils understand how to apply for a special variation, and our assessment process.


2016-17 Notifications LETTERS

For 2016-17 Special Rate Variation and Minimum Rate Increase applications, Councils notified IPART during December 2015. 


2016-17 applications and determinations

Applications for 2016-17 Special Variations were due on 15 February 2016. 

Applications for increases in Minimum Rates were due on 14 March 2016.

2016-17 Application Forms can be found here.  For both types of applications, determinations were be released on 17 May 2016. 

Applications and Determinations are available to view on our website.  See here for Guidelines and further information relating to the application process for special variations to apply in the 2016-17 financial year.  

Media Release - Special rate variation applications received from 12 councils - 12 February 2016
Fact Sheet - Council applications for a special variation in 2016-17


Councils need to apply to IPART to increase the minimum rate in a particular rating category or subcategory if that rate is above ‘the statutory limit’ (as defined in the Local Government Act 1993). The statutory limit is different for the minimum amount of an ordinary rate, and minimum amount of a special rate.

This Fact Sheet outlines how we assess minimum rates applications.

See here for Guidelines and further information relating to the application process for minimum rate increases to apply from the 2016-17 financial year. 

Previous applications and determinations

Determinations and individual Media Releases for 2015-16 NSW Councils' special rate variations and a minimum rate increase application are available to view on our website. 

This Fact Sheet summarises IPART's decisions and this Media Release explains our decisions on 2015-16 council applications.  

View earlier determinations by using the search bar, or view fact sheets issued in previous years for special variation determinations.  


Any enquiries regarding Special Variations or minimum rate applications should be directed to:
Tony Camenzuli at or by telephone (02) 9113 7706

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