State imposed rate cap increases to 2.5 percent

Residents could be expecting a rate rise this coming financial year after the State Government announced a higher rate cap of 2.5 percent as part of the Fair Go Rates system

Announced in December, Minister for Local Government Adem Somyurek said the maximum rate increase of 2.5 percent, a rise from the 2017/18 cap of 2.25 percent, is in line with the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

Mr Somyurek said the new cap is about getting a “fairer outcome for ratepayers and encouraging councils to work with their communities to deliver the things that matter most to locals”.

All Victorian councils have been operating under rate caps since July 1, 2016. Since then each year the Minister for Local Government sets a cap on rate increases based on that period’s CPI and advice from the Essential Services Commission (ESC). The decision must be made by December 31 each year to apply to rates in the following financial year.

Central Goldfields Shire chief administrator Noel Harvey said that while the rate cap increase is “no surprise”, council aims to keep the shire’s rate increase to a minimum.

“The challenges around the rate system, which is a state-wide issue, are fairly significant in terms of the inequities that exist. I’m particularly concerned about the impacts it is having on our farming community who have been hit pretty hard by the current valuation and rate system that is in place,” he said.

For more on this story see Page 3 of The Advertiser, Tuesday, January 8

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