Council proposed rates increases

Ed, I attach the email I have received from IPART which confirms that local people can make submissions direct to them regarding CVC application for rates increases above rate pegging and advises how and when to do so. Bill Day, Yamba Dear Clarence Valley ratepayer Thank you for your recent email regarding a possible application for a special rate variation application by the Clarence Valley Council for the 2016-17 financial year. We can advise that the Clarence Valley Council has not yet applied to IPART for a special rate variation for 2016-17. We anticipate that the special variation applications from councils will not be due until mid-February next year. We note that the Clarence Valley Council has raised the possibility of a special variation in its Council Improvement Proposal under the Fit for the Future reform package, but it states that a final decision has yet to be made. The process for councils applying a special rate variation to IPART is as follows: • Councils prior to making an application to IPART, consult with their community about their proposed rate increase. • Each year, Office of Local Government (OLG) releases updated guidelines and application timetable for councils preparing to apply a special rate variation to IPART. IPART assesses each council application in accordance with these guidelines. The guidelines for 2016-17 special variation applications have not been released by the OLG yet. These guidelines are usually released by the OLG in September, and once released are available to view on the OLG and IPART website. Previous years’ (2015-16) guidelines are available to view here. • Following the release of updated guidelines and application timetable from the OLG, IPART will update its website accordingly with the relevant information. We anticipate that the application timetable for 2016-17 special variation process will remain similar to the previous years’ (2015-16) timetable. Previous years’ application timetable is available to view on our website here, including the Fact Sheet on how we assess special variation applications from councils. • Based on previous years’ application timetable: o Councils will be required to notify IPART of its intention to apply for a special variation by mid-December. o Councils will be required to submit a special variation application to IPART by mid-February 2016. o Once Councils submit their special variation application to IPART by mid- February 2016, we will accept and consider submissions from individual ratepayers or interested groups for upto 4 weeks after the council application closing date. Although we will accept submissions up to 4 weeks, the best avenue for community consultation is through each council’s integrated planning processes and specific consultation on the special variation. We encourage members of the community to participate in their council’s community consultation and engagement processes.