As part of the McGowan Government’s reform agenda, a new Local Government Act will be drafted.
Our vision is for the local government sector to be agile, smart and inclusive.
Our objective is to transform local government so that it is empowered to better deliver quality governance and services to their communities now and into the future.
We are looking at rates, fees and charges as an area of reform.
The current system
- Rates raise revenue to fund community services and facilities.
- Long term financial plans should underpin rate setting.
- Schools, religious institutions and land used for charitable purposes are exempt from rates.
- Rates are imposed uniformly (a single rate in the dollar for all properties) or differentially (different rates in the dollar for different categories).
What you’ve told us
- There is a lack of transparency around how rates and charges are raised and where this burden falls.
- Advertising requirements for imposing rates are inconsistent.
- Comparing rates across local governments is difficult as a variety of rating categories can be used.
- Exemptions from rates impose a heavy burden on other ratepayers.
Ideas for change
- Introduce a requirement to develop and consult on a Rates and Revenue Strategy.
- Remove or amend exemptions from rates.
- Standardise rating categories between local governments.
- Fees and charges to be set at cost recovery.
- Remove requirement for Ministerial approval of large disparities in rates.