Five NSW local councils increase rates – 2022-23
IPART has approved 4 councils’ special variation applications to increase their income above the rate peg and one minimum rate increase application.
We considered submissions that we received from ratepayers on the applications. We balanced community concerns with the councils’ demonstrated need for additional revenue to improve financial sustainability and service delivery.
The councils were also required to consult with the community, establish that the impact on ratepayers is affordable, and make productivity and cost savings.
Special variation approvals
We have approved:
- Central Coast Council’s extension of its current 3-year temporary rate increase for a further 7-year period, starting from 2024-25.
- Hunter’s Hill Council and Snowy Valleys Council’s permanent rate increases over 2 years.
- Kyogle Council’s permanent rate increase for 2022-23.
Rate peg and special variations
The rate peg for 2022-23 is set at 0.7% (excluding population growth factors). Some councils received a higher rate peg in 2022-23 due to having a population growth factor higher than zero. The rate peg is the maximum percentage amount a council can increase its income from rates. Councils that need additional revenue can apply to IPART for increases above the rate peg, known as special variations.
The Office of Local Government (OLG) also announced an additional special variation (ASV) process for 2022-23. The ASV process will assess councils’ applications for a special variation up to 2.5%.
Conditions for the approved special variations
The conditions for Central Coast and Hunter’s Hill Councils’ special variation approvals include spending the additional income on the specific purposes outlined in each of their applications. Central Coast, Hunter’s Hill and Snowy Valleys Councils are also required to report to the community about how their additional revenues are spent.
Minimum rate increase approval
We have also approved Cumberland City Council’s minimum rate increase application. The approved minimum rate increase will allow the council to transition to an equitable rates structure as it gradually harmonises rates. The minimum rates increase will not change the council’s overall general income.
The Final Reports on our assessment of each councils’ application are available on our website.