Special Rate Variation
At the Council Meeting on Tuesday, 9 May 2023, Council gave in principle endorsement for an application to be made to the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) for a Special Rate Variation (SRV) to be implemented over three years commencing 2024/25 financial year. You can view the Council report here and our IP&R documents including the Long Term Financial Plan
What is a Special Rate Variation (SRV) and Rate-Pegging?
Rates increase each year in line with an amount set by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART). This amount is calculated every year and is called the ‘rate peg’.
For the 2023/24 financial year the rate peg applied to Griffith City Council, will be 3.7%.
If a council’s rate revenue is not sufficient to maintain service levels or undertake capital works, it can apply to IPART to increase overall rate revenue by more than the rate peg. This is known as a Special Rate Variation (SRV). In order to apply for an SRV, councils must demonstrate to the community and IPART that they need the money and have implemented improvements to be more efficient and productive. Council has already identified $1M in savings annually.
Why do we need a Special Rate Variation (SRV)?
The rate increases set by IPART have not kept pace with cost escalations faced by Council in providing services to our community. Cost shifting from other levels of government and diminishing value of annual operating grants over time have also contributed significantly to the pressure on Council’s financial position.
The additional funds received through the SRV will increase the money available to address and correct Council’s operating position and enable sufficient funds to be available for renewal and maintenance of assets and the continuation of current service levels.
What will happen if the SRV is not implemented?
Council will have to look at options to reduce the levels of services to the community. Examples of community facilities that may have reduced hours are the Griffith Regional Aquatic Leisure Centre, Griffith Regional Theatre, Pioneer Park Museum, Griffith Regional Sports Centre and Griffith City Library. In addition, service levels will be reduced. Some examples of these include our roads, parks and gardens, strategic planning and storm water drainage.
What level of rate rise is Council considering?
The proposed rate increase is based on Council's funding requirements.
Griffith City Council is seeking the community’s view on a proposal to apply to the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) for approval to raise ordinary rates through a Special Rates Variation (SRV) by 10.5% (inclusive of the assumed 3.0% rate peg) each year for three consecutive years from 2024/25 to 2026/27 (a cumulative total increase of 34.9%). The increase would be retained permanently in Council’s rate base.
How much will rates change?
|Average Rates - Residential|
3.7% Rate Peg
|With SRV 10.5% includes assumed 3% Rate Peg||$1,106||$1,222||$1,350||$1,492|
|No SRV assumed 3% Rate Peg||$1,106||$1,139||$1,173||$1,209|
|Average Rates - Business|
3.7% Rate Peg
|With SRV 10.5% includes assumed 3% Rate Peg||$2,968||$3,280||$3,624||$4,005|
|No SRV assumed 3% Rate Peg||$2,968||$3,057||$3,149||$3,243|
|Average Rates - Farmland|
3.7% Rate Peg
|With SRV 10.5% includes assumed 3% Rate Peg||$4,184||$4,623||$5,109||$5,645|
|No SRV assumed 3% Rate Peg||$4,184||$4,310||$4,439||$4,572|
Based on Office of Local Government Performance comparative data FY2020/21 - average Griffith
Special Rate Variation Estimator here Ratepayers are encouraged to assess the impact of the SRV on their respective properties by using this estimator.
How can I have my say?
Griffith City Council values community input and actively seeks feedback during the consultation period for the Special Rate Variation. (Up until Thursday 31 August 2023)
You can email email@example.com or write to PO Box 485 Griffith, 2680. You can also make an online submission using the button below.
Following extensive community consultation, should Council resolve to apply to IPART for a Special Rate Variation, members of the public will also be able to make a submission to IPART.
We will have community information sessions:
|6 June 2023||7pm||Yoogali Club||Community Opinion Group (COG) Meeting|
|15 June 2023||10am-12pm||Kooyoo Street Kiosk||Council Cafe|
|27 June 2023||5pm||Council Chambers||Information session|
|6 July 2023||11.30am-1.30pm||Griffith Central Plaza||Information session|
|20 July 2023||10am-12pm||Kooyoo Street Kiosk||Council Cafe|
|1 August 2023||7pm||Hanwood Sports Club||Community Opinion Group (COG) Meeting|
|4 August 2023||10am-12pm||Griffith Central Plaza||Information session|
When will the decision on the Special Rate Variation be made?
The decision on the Special Rate Variation will be made by Griffith City Council after intensive community consultation has been undertaken.
Following the public consultation period, a further report will be considered by Council in October 2023. At that meeting Council will make a final decision as to whether it will apply to IPART for the Special Rate Variation. If IPART approves the application, the first stage of the increase will be effective in July 2024.
View the online SRV Presentation here
View the SRV Flyer here
View our latest PowerPoint presentation here
TIS National interperative service
TIS National is a - phone 131450 - language service.
SRV - Frequently Asked Questions from community consultation
1. The Cashflow statement shows that Council will have around $190M in cash in June 2033. Why is this SRV necessary if Council has so much money in the bank?
Council must restrict funds to the water, sewer and waste areas. It is a legal requirement to do this. Council does not include capital works in the Long-Term Financial Plan for major projects in the outer years as they are not within the Councillors Delivery Program period (ie; 4 years). Council must ensure that it has sufficient cash reserves to fund major future renewal of existing infrastructure and growth for new development.
2. Does this SRV guarantee no future SRVs?
This SRV will allow Council to become financially sustainable in the General Fund to maintain existing services and provide the capability to grow. Future regulation changes, additional State Government cost shifting and future capital works programs as determined by Councillors may influence future SRVs.
3. Will water and other charges increase?
4. What services will be impacted?
If a SRV is approved the current level of services will be maintained. If a SRV is not approved, examples of community facilities that may have reduced hours are the Griffith Regional Aquatic Leisure Centre, Griffith Regional Theatre, Pioneer Park Museum, Griffith Regional Sports Centre and Griffith City Library. In addition, service levels will be reduced. Some examples of these include our roads, parks and gardens, strategic planning and storm water drainage.
5. Is the SRV increase permanent or will it wind back after 3 years?
The proposed SRV will increase the rate base annually over the 3-year period of implementation with the third year being 2026/27.
The annual rate base as from the 2027/28 year will increase by the annual rate pegging limit as set by IPART.
6. With the cost of living going up so much now, how can we be expected to manage this increase?
The proposed SRV is not a decision taken lightly. Council recognises the delicate balance between providing essential services, maintaining infrastructure, and ensuring affordability for our residents. Council offers the Pensioner Rebate Scheme, which financially supports this important group in our community. Council also has a Hardship Policy to accommodate the special needs of those unable to pay their rates in full on time. The increase is proposed to come into effect in July 2024 and staged over a 3-year period, recognising the impact and in an effort to minimise this impact as much as possible whilst ensuring Council’s financial sustainability.
7. What is Council doing to remediate the situation?
Regardless of whether Council resolves to apply for an SRV, Council's Senior Management Team is committed to finding $1 million in savings each year starting from 2024/25. This will be achieved by identifying operational efficiencies. Councillors are also being encouraged to identify possible alternate revenue sources and potential saving opportunities.
8. What do land valuations have to do with my rates?
The NSW Valuer General’s Office is responsible for the valuation of all rateable land in NSW and is revalued every three (3) years. Rateable land within the Griffith LGA was revalued during 2022 and these values were provided to Council. Council calculates rates using the land value determined for your property plus a base amount.
The land revaluation process does not provide any additional rate revenue for Council. The total increase in rate revenue to Council is capped on an annual basis by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART. For the 2023/24 year the rate cap increase is 3.7% above 2022/23 level (ie approx. $700,000).
Changes to land values will impact the amount of rates payable for individual properties but the total increase in rate income received by Council for the year does not exceed the rate cap as determined by IPART.
Whilst we acknowledge that some individual assessments have moved by much greater than the 3.7% rate pegging figure, many have also increased by less and in fact some assessments have reduced in line with new land valuations.
9. What is the alternative to the proposed rate increases?
Without a Special Rate Variation, Council would need to consider reducing the levels of services provided to the community to save costs. Examples of services that may be impacted include the Griffith Regional Aquatic Leisure Centre, Griffith Regional Theatre, Pioneer Park Museum, Griffith Regional Sports Centre and Griffith City Library. In addition, service levels will be reduced. Some examples of these include our roads, parks and gardens, strategic planning and storm water drainage.
READ NEWS AND UPDATES HERE:
2 June 2023 Council seeks support for propsed SRV
8 June 2023 COG Meeting kicks off community consultation
22 June 2023 SRV consultation continues
13 July 2023 Have you had your say on the proposed SRV yet?
25 July 2023 Rates estimator now available
8 August 2023 Council’s Special Rate Variation Consultation Progress Update
21 August 2023 Time running out for resdients to have their say on Council's proposed SRV
For more information on Special Rate Variations visit the IPART website here
Special Rate Variation
Griffith City Council is seeking the community’s views on whether to apply to the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) for approval to raise ordinary (general) rates through a Special Rates Variation (SRV)Read more