IPART annually reviews council rates and charges and sets the maximum increase councils can apply to their general income from these charges – this is called the rate peg. Councils can apply to IPART for special variations to the rate peg – see Special Variations.
Catch up provisions for council rate increases
The rate peg or the percentage specified in the special variation is the maximum amount by which a council can increase its general income in a particular year. It is open to a council to increase its general income by less than the rate peg or the percentage specified in a special variation. Where that is the case, a council may ‘catch up’ on the shortfall in general income over any one or more of the next 10 years. It is a matter for each Council to decide how it spreads this catch up over that period.
It is a matter for each Council how the rate burden is spread amongst its ratepayers. This means it is possible that your rates may increase by more than the rate peg or the percentage specified in a special variation in a given year where the council has redistributed rates or where it is ‘catching up’ on a recent shortfall.
We also review council development contributions plans that propose contribution levels above the cap the NSW Government has set. The Minister for Local Government will then consider IPART’s recommendations. From time to time IPART can also conduct special reviews of local government for the NSW Government.