Why Rates Are Important

Your council rates help us provide services and amenities that make the Upper Hunter Shire a wonderful place to live and visit.

Switch to Email Notices

You can switch from paper to email for your rates and water notices. This is faster, saves trees, and is easy to manage.

How to Switch:
  1. Fill out the change of address part on your paper rates notice and send it back to us.
  2. Alternatively, complete our online Change of Address form. Make sure you have your current rates or water notice on hand for verification.
  3. If you own multiple properties here, complete a form for each one you want to switch to email.

Online Form

Understanding Your Rates

Your rate amount is based on two main factors: the value of your land and how your land is used (its rating category).

Your land value

Land values are set by the NSW Valuer-General, usually every three years. The most recent valuation was done on 1 July 2022 and is used to calculate your rates for 2023/2024.

For more information on how land is valued, you can:

  • Visit www.valuergeneral.nsw.gov.au
  • Or call 1800 110 038

Rating category

In the Upper Hunter Shire, land is categorised into four groups: Residential, Business, Farmland, and Mining. Your land's category is listed in the first entry of your rates notice. If you think the category is incorrect, you can request a review.

How General Rates are Calculated

The general rate for 2023/2024 is based on a fixed amount plus a variable amount, which depends on your land's value.

The Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal NSW (IPART) sets a limit on how much Council can increase general rate income each year. For 2023/2024, this limit is set at 3.7%. Councils can choose how to distribute this increase among different ratepayer categories.

Additional Annual Charges

Your annual rates notice includes various additional charges for services linked to your property. These charges contribute to infrastructure maintenance and service provision.

Hunter Catchment Contribution

Council collects a Hunter Catchment Contribution on behalf of Local Land Services. This amount, based on a fraction of your land's value, goes toward funding catchment projects. The 2022/2023 contribution is set at $0.00977 per dollar of land value. The revenue helps the Catchment Authority fulfil its obligations under the Water Management Act 2000.

Water Access Charge

Your annual water charge is determined by the size of the water meter on your property. For most residential properties, the meter size is typically 20mm. An alternative lower fee applies for unconnected services on land that is within 225 metres of a connectable water main.

Sewerage Fees

An annual sewerage fee is charged for sewer system maintenance and improvements. A lower fee applies for unconnected services on land within 75 metres of a connectable sewer main. A lower flat fee is charged to unconnected services on land within 75 metres of a sewer main which is capable of being connected.

Waste Management 

Your annual waste management charges cover the costs of waste facilities, kerbside bin collections, and bulky waste collection services where available. The fee encompasses costs for waste pick-up, recycling, and annual bulky clean-ups.

Additional Waste Services 

If you're availing additional waste services, a separate line item for this will appear on your annual rates notice.

Stormwater Management

Funds for stormwater management are collected in line with the Local Government Amendment (Stormwater) Act 2005. These monies are allocated to enhance stormwater management projects and planning, beyond what is covered by Council’s general funds.

On-site Sewage Management 

An annual fee is charged for the operational approval of On-site Sewage Management Systems. This fee covers one inspection and record-keeping. Extra inspections will incur additional charges.

Payment Options

  • Direct Debit: Set up a direct debit so you never miss a payment.
  • BPay: Use phone or online banking, but make sure you enter the right reference number.
  • In-Person: Pay at any Australia Post location or at one of our offices.
  • By Mail: Send a cheque to Upper Hunter Shire Council, PO Box 208, Scone NSW 2337.

Pensioner Discounts

Pensioners can get rate rebates every three months. To apply, simply bring:

  • Your latest rates notice
  • Your current Pensioner Concession Card

Visit one of our Council offices during regular hours, and our staff will help you fill out an online application form.

Apply Now

Struggling to Pay?

If you can't pay your rates on time, don't worry. We can arrange a flexible payment plan for you. This allows you to make smaller, regular payments either weekly, fortnightly, or monthly.

Note: Late payments will attract a daily interest rate of 6% per annum. However, in special cases where you face difficulties beyond your control, we may reduce or waive this interest.

Get Help:

  • Call our rates department at 6540 1100
  • Visit one of our Council offices to explore your options

Update Your Address  

To get your rates or water notices sent to a new address, fill out the change of address section on your paper notice or use the online form below.