Blue Mountains City Council



Special Rate Variation

What is a special rate variation?

Each year the NSW State Government sets a maximum percentage amount that councils can increase their rates by (known as the ‘rate peg’). Councils can then assess, in consultation with the community, whether that rate peg is sufficient to maintain services and infrastructure OR they can request an increase above the rate peg limit. Such an increase is known as a Special Rate Variation (SRV).

Special rate variations are an important means of providing additional funding to councils to deliver the levels of service and infrastructure required by the community that the council is otherwise unable to fund within its existing revenue. The Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) will only approve a SRV application if it is satisfied that a council adequately meets its criteria, including demonstrating a need for the additional revenue; that productivity improvements to reduce overall costs have been undertaken; and the community is aware of the proposal.


Blue Mountains City Council Special Rate Variation

Commencing 1 July 2015, Council commenced implementation of a special rate variation. This special rate variation provides the Council with greater capacity to fund required infrastructure renewal and maintenance and to stop the decline in the City’s $1 billion worth of built assets; to continue the environmental programs previously funded by the Environment Levy; to improve services to the community; to enhance emergency preparedness and response; and to improve overall financial sustainability.

The targeted areas align with service areas the community has identified as needing to be improved.

The annual increases that have been approved are 6.6% in 2015/16 (including 2.4% rate peg) to continue the environmental programs previously funded by the Environment Levy, followed by a 9.6% increase for three consecutive years to 2018/19 with additional funding raised remaining permanently in the rate base. The effective increase in the Council’s income from rates over these four years will be an additional $30.4 million.

For additional information on the Blue Mountains City Council Special Rate Variation click here.

For information on how the special rate variation is benefiting the community click on the menu on the left hand side

> Council Report: 2 June 2015
> Media Statement: 21 May 2015 IPART Approves Council Rate Variation Application 
> Media Release 5 June 2015 Council to Implement Rate Variation for Resourcing our Future