Rates explained

Kempsey Shire Council’s rates team ensures that rates are collected every year for all types of rateable land in the shire.

What is the due date for my rates notice?

Council gives you two options to pay your rates: 

  • pay the full amount on or before 31 August each year, or
  • pay the same amount in four instalments spread across the year.

You can pay online, by phone, by direct debit, by mail or in person at Council’s Customer Service centre, your local post office or any bank.

If you choose to pay in quarterly instalments, the due dates are:

  • 1st instalment: 31 August
  • 2nd instalment: 30 November
  • 3rd instalment: 28 February
  • 4th instalment: 31 May

These dates are the same every year.

How do I change my postal address?

If your postal address has changed, please complete the Change of Postal Address form(PDF, 137KB)

You can email your completed form to ksc@kempsey.nsw.gov.au or bring it to Council’s Customer Service centre, 22 Tozer Street, West Kempsey.

What if I haven’t received a rates notice?

Phone Council on 6566 3200 or complete our Report an Issue form

What if I’m having trouble paying rates?

We understand that many people affected by drought, bushfires and COVID-19 are finding it difficult to meet their financial commitments.

If you are having genuine financial difficulties paying your rates, please contact Council on 6566 3200 to discuss your options. 

What if I make a late payment?

Interest is charged on any amount that is unpaid after the due date. Interest charges are calculated daily at a rate set by the Minister for Local Government. 

Is there a pensioner concession?

If you are a pensioner, you may be entitled to a rebate on your rates. 

To be eligible, you must receive a pension from Centrelink or the Department of Veterans’ Affairs and be entitled to a pensioner concession card issued by the Australian Government. You can only claim a concession on the property if it is the sole or principal place you live. 

You will need to attend Council's Customer Service centre and complete a pensioner rebate form.

Why do I have to pay rates?

Councils are required by law to collect rates. Local councils operate and improve services and facilities for the community. The rates you pay help Kempsey Shire Council to maintain:

  • public health and food inspections
  • road and bridge maintenance
  • waste collection, treatment and disposal
  • community services
  • water and sewerage
  • sporting and recreation services
  • libraries
  • environmental planning and protection
  • dog control
  • parks, gardens and playgrounds

Where do my rates go?

Many people believe that the money Council receives in rates payments is its total income each year. In fact, rates amount to around 44% of the total budget Council needs to provide services and maintain essential infrastructure. Council sources the remaining funds through grants, loans, fees and charges, contributions and interest.

How do you determine the amount I pay?

Your property’s land value is one of the main ways Council determines the ordinary rate you pay. Every three years, the NSW Government’s Valuer-General supplies Council with an updated value for your land. For more information, visit their website

Your property’s rating category also affects what you pay. All rateable land falls into one of four categories: residential, business, farmland or mining. Your rating category is displayed on your rates notice. Most people are charged ordinary rates under the residential category.

What is the environmental levy?

The environmental levy has been in place since 2008-09. The funds raised are used to manage, protect and preserve our waterways and natural environment. The levy is not an additional cost to your rates. The cost was previously included in your general rates; Council has simply separated these charges to make your rates notice more transparent and easier to read.

Where can I learn more about Council rates and charges?

The NSW Office of Local Government provides factsheets that explain how rates and charges are set in New South Wales.