2023-24 Special Variation and Minimum Rate Applications

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

Councils should contact IPART to discuss their application as early as possible in the process.

There are 2 special variation options under the Local Government Act:

  • a single year increase under section 508(2), or
  • a multi-year increase (of between 2 and 7 years) under section 508A.

Special variation and minimum rate increase applications should be submitted through IPART's Local Government Council Portal. This User Guide gives detailed instructions on how to use Council Portal. The council portal is open for 2023-24 applications.

Application Forms

Application forms for 2023-24 are included here:

Fact Sheets, Information Papers and OLG Guidelines

The Application Guide Table below lists out relevant fact sheets and information papers to provide further guidance to councils completing the special variation and/or minimum rate increase application/s. 

The Table also links to the relevant Office of Local Government (OLG) guideline for the type of application lodged. While IPART has been delegated responsibility for assessing and determining special variations, the Government has retained responsibility for setting the policy framework under which applications will be assessed.

Councils applying for a special variation or minimum rate increase must comply with the requirements set out in OLG’s guidelines.

Application Guide Table

Type of Application

Fact Sheets and Information Paper

Community Awareness Guide

OLG Guidelines

Special Variation

Fact Sheet - Special Variations in 2023-24

Information Paper - Special Variations in 2023-24

Information Paper - Community Engagement and Awareness

Guidelines for preparation of an application for a special variation to general income

 

 

Minimum Rate Increase

Fact Sheet - Minimum Rates in 2023-24

Information Paper - Minimum Rates in 2023-24

Information Paper - Community Engagement and Awareness

Guidelines for preparation of an application to increase minimum rates above the statutory limit

 

See past special variation and minimum rate increase applications and determinations.

Notification Letters

Councils intending to apply for a special variation or minimum rate increase should notify IPART of their intention to apply by 25 November 2022 via our Council Portal.

Notification Letters to IPART should include the following information:

  • the percentage amount of the intended special variation or minimum rate
  • the purpose of the funds for the special variation, and
  • contact details for the application.

Timeline

Below is the timeline for special variation and minimum rate increase applications for the 2023-24 financial year.

Outcome

Date

Notification of council's intention to apply for a special variation or
minimum rates increase due

25 November 2022

Special Variation applications due

3 February 2023

Minimum Rate Variation applications due

3 February 2023

Determinations announced for Special Variation and Minimum Rate Variations

May 2023

Assumed rate peg for 2024-25 and future years

Special variation applications

Councils applying for a special variation in 2023-24 should use the 2023‑24 rate peg set by IPART in their applications, and an assumed rate peg of 2.5% for 2024‑25 and in future years.

Long term financial plan reviews and updates

We encourage councils that are updating or reviewing their Long Term Financial Plans to refer to the Office of Local Government’s Integrated Planning and Reporting Manual for local government in NSW, and to seek advice from the Office of Local Government where necessary to determine their revenue forecasts for rates and charges for future years.

How can the community engage with IPART?

We will publish the applications for a special variation in 2023-24 on our website in February of 2023. Members of the community will be able to view and make comment on the proposals in the applications during February and March of 2023. Our fact sheet provides more information on how the community can engage with the 2023-24 special variations process.

Enquiries

Any enquiries regarding special variation or minimum rate applications should be directed to Edward Jenkins by email to Edward_Jenkins@ipart.nsw.gov.au or by phone on (02) 9113 7774.