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Rates and Finance

Cessnock City Council raises approximately 50 per cent of its operating incomes from rates and annual charges. 

Listed below are some frequently asked questions about rates.

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. Council calculates rates based upon these valuations as supplied by the Valuer General.

For any information regarding your land valuation, visit the Lands and Property Information website or phone 1800 110 038.

How are rates calculated?

Each property in the City falls into one of seven categories for rating purposes, dependant on the actual land use of the property.  These categories are Residential, Rural Residential, Farmland,  Farmland Business Rural, Farmland Mixed Use, Business and Mining.

Council's rating structure for each of these categories consists of two parts, a base amount (a flat charge common to all properties) and an ad valorem component (an amount calculated on the land value of your property).

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 instalments, 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.

How can I pay my rates?

There are several payment options available including:

  • Direct Debit from a nominated account.
  • In person at any Australia Post Office or Agency, or Council's Administration Centre (cash, cheque, Eftpos, Credit Cards).
  • Telephone and Internet Banking using Post Billpay ( ) – Mastercard & Visa only
  • Telephone and Internet Banking using BPAY – debit accounts only

Please contact Customer Service on 4993 4100 if you require detailed information on any of these payment options.

What should I do if I am having difficulty paying my rates?

You should contact the Rates Department on 4993 4100 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. The maximum interest rate that can be applied each year is advised to NSW councils by the Office of Local Government. Interest charges apply to overdue rates only and are not calculated on interest already raised or legal costs.

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, rebates can be granted on a quarterly basis upon application.

An application can be made over the phone or in person at Council's Customer Service Centre. Please contact Council on 4993 4100 for further information.

Where can I go to obtain more information about Council rates?

Further information can be obtained from the Customer Service Centre on:
Phone: 4993 4100
Fax: 4993 2500
Mail: Box 152, Cessnock, NSW, 2325
Visit 62-78 Vincent Street, Cessnock, NSW, 2325

Why do I pay rates?

Council has many services which are funded from rates.  For example, the maintenance of roads and drainage, parks and gardens, sporting fields and facilities including swimming pools; libraries; community services for senior citizens and youth; dog control; tourism; cemeteries and the Cessnock Performing Arts Centre.  Rates are the method by which the community contributes to the funding of these services.

Department of Local Government FAQ 

How can I get a copy of my rates notice?

Copies of Rates notices can be obtained by contacting Customer Service Centre on 4993 4100. A fee may apply.