How to pay your rates
There are other payment options available including:
- Direct debit from a nominated account. You can apply to direct debit on a monthly, quarterly or annual basis; your rights and obligations can be found in the Direct debit service agreement on the reverse side of the form.
- In person at any Australia Post Office or Agency, or Council's Administration Building (cash, cheque, Eftpos, credit card).
- Telephone and internet banking using Post Billpay–Mastercard and Visa only.
- Telephone and internet banking using BPAY–debit accounts only.
For more information on these payment options please contact our Customer Service Centre on 02 4921 0333 or email email@example.com.
Register with us to view your rates history, payment details and print rate transaction accounts online. Registration can take up to one business day to process.
Receive your rates notice by email
You can have your rates notice emailed directly to you. Simply register your details and your next rates notice will be conveniently delivered to your nominated email address, instead of your postal address. Registration is easy and by logging in, you can view your notices online at any time.
Please note, your assessment number must be eight characters including zeros (no dash) and your full name is exactly how it appears on the first line of your rates notice.
Section 603 certificate
A Section 603 Rating Certificate specifies any outstanding rates, charges and debts payable to Council in relation to a property. You may apply for a Section 603 Certificate at any time, but a certificate is often needed before a property settlement. Fees apply. You must first register with us to apply for a Section 603 certificate online. Registration can take up to one business day to process.
Why do you pay rates
Lake Macquarie City Council raises about half of its operating income from rates and provides many services that rates help to fund.
These services include:
- maintenance of roads, parks and gardens
- community services for senior citizens and youth
- town planning
- food inspections
- animal services
- swimming pools.
Rates are the way our community contributes to funding these services.
How rates work
Council rates are determined in accordance with the provisions of the Local Government Act 1993. This legislation provides the process to calculate rates and limits the income councils can receive from rates. Each property in Lake Macquarie falls into one of four categories for rating purposes depending on the land use of the property.
These categories are:
Council decides which category your property should be in, based on its land use.
Rates are calculated annually and include the ordinary rate and annual charges. The ordinary rate includes a flat base amount, plus an ad valorem amount, which is based on the value of your land. The ordinary rate also includes the Sustainability Levy.
Land valuation is conducted every three years by the NSW Valuer General. The land value does not include the value of your house, buildings, or other improvements to the land. Council uses this figure to calculate the ad valorem amount to reflect any changes in the value of your land.
Domestic waste management charge
The domestic waste management charge is an annual charge for waste services that is listed as a separate amount on your residential or farmland rates notice. It includes a levy charged by the state government.
Most NSW councils have to pay the levy, which they then have to pass on to ratepayers on a fee for service basis. Councils are not permitted to make a profit or loss from this levy.
Frequently asked questions about rates
When are my rates due and payable
You have the choice of either paying your rates in full, or by quarterly instalments. If you elect to pay in a lump sum, the full amount is due by 31 August each year. If you choose to pay by quarterly installments, the due dates are 31 August, 30 November, 28 February and 31 May. You will be sent a reminder notice one month before each payment is due.
What should I do if I'm having difficulty paying my rates
You should contact our Customer Service Centre on 02 4921 0333 as soon as possible, preferably before the account becomes overdue. Satisfactory arrangements can usually be made to tailor your payments to more manageable amounts.
Are there penalties for late payment of rates
Yes, interest accrues on rates and charges that remain unpaid after they become due and payable.
Am I eligible for a pensioner rebate on my rates
If you reside on the rateable property and are the holder of a Pensioner Concession card, generally you will be entitled to a rebate on your rates. If you become a pensioner during the rating year, you should contact our Customer Service Centre on 02 4921 0333, as rebates can be granted on a pro rata basis.
To apply, please complete an application form. This form can also be picked up from our Customer Service Centre or emailed or posted to you upon request. Once completed the form needs to be returned to Council for processing.
Where can I find information about my land valuation
In New South Wales, the Valuer General is the State Government's principal advisor on all land valuation matters.
For any information regarding your land valuation, visit Land and Property Information or phone 1300 052 637.
How do I change my name on my rates notice
You can change the name shown on your rates notice by completing our online form providing the appropriate certification (e.g. Marriage, Birth or Registration of Business Name Certificate). To remove a name from a rate notice, the title deeds must be changed. You will need to seek legal advice to amend title deeds.
Page last updated: 31 May 2017