NSW councils have hit out at the 2017-18 rate-peg announcement, with local government peak bodies warning the “financial noose” is being tightened on the state’s councils.
The Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) has imposed an 1.5 per cent maximum rate peg for local government in the 2017-18 financial year, citing “continuing low inflation and minimal growth in council costs” as key factors in limiting councils’ general income.
Local Government NSW president Keith Rhoades said the peg will force many councils to seek special rate variations.
“The whole system is set up to make councils look inefficient and financially profligate, when the opposite is true,” Cr Rhoades said.
The 2017-18 IPART peg is slightly lower than the 2016-17 recommendation, which was capped at 1.8 per cent.
IPART chair Peter Boxall said ratepayers “would benefit from the modest rate of public sector wage growth in recent years”.