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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
Electronic rates notices
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, to register you are required to enter your eNotices references number. This unique number can be found on your latest rates notice. Once you have registered, you will be able to log into the portal using your email address and a password of your choice.
If you have already registered, you can sign in to view previous rates notices received by email.
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.
Due dates for rate payments
There are two options available to ratepayers:
Payment in full - if you are making a single payment for the full year’s rates and charges, payment is due on or before 31 August in that financial year.
Payment by quarterly instalment - the payment dates and amounts for each instalment are shown on your rates notice.We will send you an instalment notice for the second, third and fourth instalments, 30 days before the payment is required. The annual payment dates for each instalment are as follows:
- first instalment payable by 31 August
- second instalment payable by 30 November
- third instalment payable by 28 February and
- fourth instalment payable by 31 May.
You can pay more than one instalment at a time and there is the option to set up a monthly direct debit from your savings account for your rates payment.
If you don’t pay your rates on or before the due date, interest (calculated daily) will be charged on the amount owing and is applied to the account monthly in the first week of the month.
The current interest rate for the 2017/18 financial year – displayed on the front of your rates notice – is 7.5 per cent a year and is set annually by the Office of Local Government.
Eligibility for a pensioner rebate
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.
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 NSW Land Registry Services or phone 1300 052 637.
Changing 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.
You can update your postal address or other contact details by completing our online form.
Page last updated: 12 February 2018