Aerial drone view of Suburban Sydney houses roof tops parks and streets
Summary

The period to make a submission about council applications has now closed. 

We are processing the submissions and survey responses we received and will publish non-confidential submissions and survey responses on our webpage in due course. 

We are currently assessing council applications and will publish our decisions in May 2024. 

Which councils have applied for a special variation this year?

Councils may apply to IPART for a ‘special variation’ to increase their general rates income by more than the rate peg percentage. This year, nine NSW councils have applied for a special variation:

  • Blayney Shire Council
  • Goulburn Mulwaree Council
  • Griffith City Council
  • Kempsey Shire Council
  • Narrandera Shire Council
  • Randwick City Council
  • Snowy Valleys Council
  • Tamworth Regional Council
  • Willoughby City Council.

Goulburn Mulwaree and Narrandera councils have also applied to increase the minimum rates they charge, along with their special variation applications. 

All applications are available below.

Community feedback is an important part of the Tribunal’s assessment of special variation applications. We are considering the feedback we received via submissions and our online survey.

How we assess the applications

The Tribunal will assess each application against criteria established by the Office of Local Government, which require councils to:

  • demonstrate the need for the additional income
  • provide evidence that the community is aware of the need for and extent of a rate rise
  • establish that the impact on affected ratepayers is reasonable
  • exhibit, approve and adopt relevant planning documents
  • explain and quantify the council’s productivity improvements and cost containment strategies. 

IPART may also consider other relevant matters. 

We encourage stakeholders to provide feedback about how the application meets or doesn’t meet the OLG criteria. 

We will complete our assessments and publish our decisions by May 2024.

Background - Rate pegging, Special Variations and minimum rates

IPART sets a rate peg annually for every council in NSW which caps the amount by which councils can increase the revenue they collect from rates. Councils must seek IPART approval to increase their rates revenue by more than the rate peg by applying for a special variation.

The core rate pegs range from 4.5% to 5.5% across NSW, with some councils eligible for an additional population factor.

Each elected council makes decisions on the level of service to provide to their community and how to fund those services, which can include a resolution to apply to IPART for a special variation.

A council can impose a minimum rate for each of its rating categories. There is a statutory maximum for these rates, set annually.

If a council wishes to impose minimum rates that are higher than the statutory maximum for the first time, or if they want to increase minimum rates by more than the rate peg or applicable SV percentage, it needs to apply to IPART for approval.

Subscribe for updates
Key contact
Albert Jean
02 9290 8413