An assessment of rate-pegging in New South Wales local government

Brian Dollery, Albert Wijeweera


Abstract

Rate-pegging has been in place in NSW for more than thirty years with broad support from all sides of politics. However, in late 2008 the NSW Government commissioned IPART to report on the adequacy of rate-pegging. IPART produced a Draft Report and then a Final Report, which has not yet been released by the NSW Government. Nevertheless, the NSW Government has made some changes to local government finance by way of capping developer charges, allowing IPART to make annual rate-pegging determinations, and enabling IPART to consider special variations in rate-pegging. Against this background, this paper considers the principles and practice of rate-pegging in NSW, the rationale for rate-pegging and counter-arguments on its desirability, as well as its economic effects on NSW local government finance relative to other Australian local government jurisdictions.

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