NSW local councils increase rates - 2023-24
IPART has now assessed the 17 special variation applications in accordance with the Office of Local Government guidelines. Based on compliance with the required criteria, the Tribunal has fully approved 14 of the applications received earlier this year. 3 applications were only partially approved.
IPART is required to assess special variation applications against criteria set by the Office of Local Government. These criteria require councils to demonstrate the need for the additional revenue, provide evidence that the community is aware of the need for and extent of a rate rise, exhibit relevant planning documents, explain council’s productivity and cost containment actions and plans, and establish that the impact on affected ratepayers is reasonable.
Rate peg and special variations
Every year IPART decides a rate peg for each council in NSW which sets the maximum amount councils can increase the general income they collect from ratepayers (rates income). IPART set the base rate peg for 2023-24 at 3.7%. There is also an allowance for the level of population growth, meaning some councils have rate pegs up to 6.8%.
If the elected councillors agree that a council needs additional revenue, the council can apply to IPART for a special variation to increase rates income by more than the rate peg. In February and March this year, 17 councils applied for increases in rates income above the rate peg through special variations.
Conditions for the approved special variations
The conditions for the councils’ special variation approvals include spending the additional income on the specific purposes outlined in each of their applications. They will also be required to report to the community about how their additional revenues are spent.
Minimum rate increase approval
We have also approved City of Canada Bay Council and Strathfield Municipal Councils’ minimum rate increase applications. The approved minimum rate increases will allow the councils to transition to a more equitable rates structure. The minimum rates increase alone will not change the council’s overall general income.
The next step following IPART’s decisions on the rate peg and the special variations is for councils across NSW to decide how to set rates. The IPART decisions determine the maximum amount by which each of the 17 councils can increase their council rates income.
Accessing our decision, the council’s completed application and submissions
Our special variation and minimum rate increase determination reports, instruments and councils’ completed application materials can be accessed by clicking on the council’s name in the table below (click here for the table).
You can also access non-confidential submissions by going to the same table (click here for the table) and then clicking on the word Submissions in the row of the council you are interested in.