Skip links and keyboard navigation

Section 133 of the Local Government Regulation 2012 (LGR) and section 125 of the City of Brisbane Regulation 2012 (CBR) have been amended to change the way that the maximum interest rate on overdue rates and charges is calculated. The new method is based on the calculation used for the interest charged on unpaid State taxes under the Taxation Administration Act 2001 (TAA) and the Taxation Administration Regulation 2012 (TAR) (i.e. the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) ‘bank bill yield rate’ plus a margin of 8 per cent).

For overdue rates and charges, the bank bill yield rate (3-month bank accepted bills monthly average) as at March of each year will be used to calculate the maximum rate of interest to apply for the following financial year.

Local governments will also be required to formally set the actual interest rate to be charged on overdue rates each year (up to the maximum interest rate set by the LGR and CBR). This is to be done by resolution as part of the annual budget process. In deciding the interest rate to be applied, local governments should ensure that they have documented evidence that they have given reasonable consideration to the interest rate, and this will include reasons for the interest rate chosen. This will allow ratepayers to understand the basis for the local government’s decision.

The bank bill yield rate as at March 2019 published by the RBA was 1.83 per cent, so the maximum interest rate for the 2019–20 financial year will be 9.83 per cent.

From the commencement of the Regulation until 1 July 2019, a council can continue to apply the interest rate applicable to overdue rates and charges as previously decided by it. From 1 July 2019, the new maximum interest rate of 9.83 per cent will apply for the 2019-20 financial year and a resolution setting the actual rate to be charged by a council will be required to be made at the budget meeting for the 2019-20 financial year.

For councils who hold their budget meeting on or after 1 July in the budget year, the previous year’s interest rate will cease to have effect from 1 July, and therefore the resolution setting the new rate will need to state that the new interest rate decided by council applies from 1 July of the relevant year.

This page will be updated each year with the maximum interest rate, and councils will be notified following the RBA’s publication of the March bank yield rate.