What is rate capping?
The Victorian Government’s Fair Go Rates system caps the increase to Council’s rates to a figure based on the Consumer Price Index.
Each year the Minister for Local Government will set the rate cap for the next financial year.
A rate cap of 2.5 per cent for the 2016/17 financial year was announced in December 2015 and applies to all Victorian councils.
In circumstances where the rate cap is insufficient to fund the services and infrastructure communities need, councils can apply to the Essential Services Commission for an increase higher than the cap.
Hume City Council has not applied for a variation to the rate cap for 2016/17.
What does rate capping apply to?
The cap applies to Council’s total income received from general rates; it does not apply to waste charges or the Fire Services Property Levy.
Are my individual property rates capped?
No. Whilst the total revenue collected by Council from rates will only increase by 2.5 per cent, increases on individual rate notices will vary.
As 2016 is a property revaluation year the allocation of your rates will depend on how much your property value has changed in the last two years. Some properties will experience a rate increase of over 2.5 per cent, whilst others may see an increase less than 2.5 per cent.
How will rate capping impact Hume City Council?
A cap to rates revenue limits Council’s income. In the first year the financial impact to Council is predicted to be approximately $4.2 million. Over five years, this figure is expected to be closer to $71 million in lower rates revenue.
The strong financial management of Council has enabled Hume to adhere with the Victorian Government’s rates cap.
In response to the loss of rates revenue, Council may need to reduce expenditure by reviewing or reducing some services, looking for alternative sources of income or investigating further alliances with other councils to share some costs.
In the future, we may look at variations to the rate cap with the support of our community. If we need to do this you will have the opportunity to be a part of the discussion.
Where can I find more information?
For further information regarding Fair Go Rates system, please visit the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning or Essential Services Commission websites, or watch the short video produced by the Municipal Association of Victoria below.
For further information about how your rates are calculated visit the rates calculation webpage.