The NSW Local Government Conference staged in Coffs Harbour in 2014.
The NSW Local Government Conference staged in Coffs Harbour in 2014. Trevor Veale

IPART sets council rate peg at 2.3% for coming year

COUNCILS will be able to increase the revenue they collect from rates by up to 2.3% in 2018-19 under the rate peg announced today by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART).

IPART sets the maximum general income NSW councils may collect and the main component is rates revenue.

Councils may apply for a special variation to increase general income by more than the rate peg and IPART chair, Dr Peter Boxall, said next year's rate peg is higher than the previous two years.

These were 1.8% in 2016-17 and 1.5% in 2017-18) primarily due to increases in labour costs, electricity and street lighting charges, and higher construction costs for roads, drains, footpaths, kerbing and bridges.

No further adjustment for productivity improvements was made this year.

"The Local Government Cost Index increased by 2.3% in the year to September 2017," Dr Boxall said.

"Since the rate peg applies to general income in total and not to individual rate assessments, it is up to each council to determine whether to apply the allowed increase in full and how to allocate the increase between households, businesses and other ratepayer categories.

"Similarly if councils want to increase their revenue by more than the rate peg they will need to consult with their communities before applying to IPART for a special variation."

Councils wishing to apply for a special rate variation must notify IPART by December 15.



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