Rate capping is the artificial imposition of a maximum percentage council rates revenue may increase from one financial year to the next.
The SA Liberal Party has tried, and failed, to introduce rate capping in South Australia through introducing a Bill into Parliament, and has since committed to taking the policy with them to the State Election in 2018.
There is considerable evidence in NSW, the only state where rate capping has been in place for many years, to show that rate capping has resulted in significantly higher fees and charges, and decaying infrastructure as maintenance levels decline and costs are shifted onto future generations. It is a populist policy that has not saved communities money. Rather, rate capping has just introduced more bureaucratic processes while impacting services and shifting cost to our children.
The LGA has created an information package to assist councils and their communities to understand the real impact of rate capping on their communities.
For further information on council rates and the services that communities receive, please go to LGA website http://www.lga.sa.gov.au/page.aspx?u=326.
Economic and Finance Committee - Inquiry into Local Government Rate Capping Policies
On 15 May 2015, the South Australian Economic and Finance Committee resolved to undertake an inquiry into local government rate capping policies. The LGA provided a submission the Committee on behalf of the local government sector. In addition to this submission, the LGA also appeared before the Committee to provide evidence on the impacts of rate capping on local communities.
For a copy of the Economic and Finance Committee's terms of reference please click here: Local Government Rate Capping Inquiry - Call for Submissions(97 kb)
For a copy of the Economic and Finance Committee's Final Report, including a copy of the Minority Report, please click here:Economic and Finance Committee - Final Report(1498 kb)
For a copy of the LGA submission to the Committee please click here: Economic and Finance Committee Inquiry LGA Submission(314 kb)
Further information on the Committee, including all submissions provided, may be found on the Committee's website: https://www.parliament.sa.gov.au/Committees/Pages/Committees.aspx?CTId=5&CId=173
Presentations from the Rate Capping Forum
13-15 April 2016
The LGA conducted a forum on Rate Capping on 13 April, 2016 attended by more than 150 delegates. The following presentations were made at the forum and in a presentation prior to the LGA OGM on 15 April, 2016.
Deputy CEO, WA LGA
"Rate capping is the punitive posturing of tired State politicians..."
Presentation: Wayne Scheggia 15-4-2016(47 kb)
President NSW Revenue Professionals
"The result of this is that there were cuts to the level of service provided by North Sydney Council"
Presentation: John Towers 13-4-2016(2166 kb)
Former director SA Office of Local Government and the LGA's lead consultant on financial sustainability
"Most SA local governments over past decade have improved financial performance where necessary and maintained improvements thereafter."
Presentation: John Comrie 13-4-2016(629 kb)
Adjunct Professor Graham Sansom
Former director of the Australian Centre for Excellence in Local Government (ACELG)
"Rate capping is wrong in principle and silly policy in practice."
Presentation: Graham Sansom 13-4-2016(743 kb)
Manager Financial Services, Wyndham City, Victoria
Video: Fair Go to Woe
Steven Griffiths MP
Former Shadow Minister for Local Government, State Member for Goyder (South Australia)