Frequently asked questions about rates and charges

What are rates and charges?

Council levies an ordinary rate (cents in the dollar value) on the unimproved land value for each parcel of rateable land, plus a base amount for each property in the Council area.

We levy charges for services where a service is available to the property, whether the service is utilised or not.

Why do I pay rates and charges?

The funds generated each year by rates and charges are used to provide essential services within the Lismore LGA such as:

  • Animal and weed control.
  • Regulation and inspections to ensure fire safety and building standards are met.
  • Public health and waste education.
  • Strategic planning and planning control of traffic movement, sign posting, rural addressing, safety and transport integration.
  • Streetlighting.
  • Health inspections of food premises.
  • Maintenance of roads and footpaths.
  • Bus shelters and public seating.
  • Parking areas.
  • Green spaces for residents and visitors.
  • Street cleaning and clearing of litter.
  • Monitoring and approval of development applications.
  • Regulation of subdivisions.
  • Environmental planning and pollution control.
  • Emergency services, safety and security.
  • Libraries, community facilities and sporting facilities.
  • Drainage design, maintenance and management.
  • Employment initiatives.
  • Maintenance and improvement of cemeteries.

When do I have to my pay my rates and charges?

There are two options available to ratepayers:

1. 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.

2. Payment by quarterly instalment

The payment dates and amounts for each instalment are shown on your rate 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
  • Fourth instalment payable by 31 May

Ratepayers are welcome to pay more than one instalment at a time.

What if I am having difficulties paying my rates and charges?

If you are having difficulty paying your account you may enter into an arrangement with us to make periodic payments. However, please note that interest charges will continue to apply.

What happens if my payment is late?

If your quarterly payment is not paid in full by the due date, you may have to pay interest on the amount owing. The interest charge would be calculated daily at the interest rate specified within our annual management plan.

How is my land valuation determined?

Land value for rating purposes is supplied by the Valuer General's Office. These valuations are supplied to us every three to four years. You will find valuable information on the Valuer General website.

What if I disagree with my land valuation?

Objections or appeals regarding the land value must be directed to the Valuer General's Office. You can find out more via the Land & Property Information website. Whether or not an objection is pending, the rates levied must be paid by the due date indicated on the front of your rate notice.

I have changed my name, how can I get the title of my rate notice changed?

If you have changed your name that appears on your rate notice (example, by way of marriage or deed poll), you must contact your solicitor or the Land & Property Information NSW office.

The LPI NSW office will require a copy of all supporting documentation to process the alteration to your name. LPI NSW will alter the deeds and notify us of the amendment.

How do I change my postal address on my rate notice?

If your current postal address is different from the address shown on the front of the rate notice, please notify us. Phone 1300 87 83 87, fax 02 6625 0400, post to PO Box 23A, Lismore NSW 2480 or email council@lismore.nsw.gov.au.

Can a managing agent make arrangements to change my address?

Yes, we will accept a letter, fax or email from the managing agent on behalf of the property owner to change the forwarding address. See details above.

Does GST apply to Council rates and charges?

A recent Australian Tax Office ruling has resulted in a change that effects waste management services supplied by councils.

As of 1 July 2014 waste charges which are non-domestic related are subject to GST. These include waste collection – urban business; waste collection – rural business; and waste minimisation.

All other rates and charges are exempt from GST.

Am I eligible for a pensioner rebate on my rates?

If you live on the rateable property and hold a Pensioner Concession Card, generally you will be entitled to a rebate on your rates. If you become a pensioner during the rating year, be sure to contact us as rebates can be granted on a quarterly basis.

An application form must be completed in person at our offices. You will need to bring your Pensioner Concession Card with you. If you are unable to come to our office, other arrangements are available.

Phone us on 1300 87 83 87 or email council@lismore.nsw.gov.au.