Announcement about rates and COVID-19

Council is legally required to levy ratepayers (under the Local Government Act 1993) and unfortunately we are not able to waive rates. However, we can provide residents who have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic with the following assistance.

The Council derives a large proportion of its revenue from Council rates, which is essential as it allows us to provide required services and infrastructure to residents of the City. 

In recognition of those ratepayers affected by COVID-19 the Council has implemented a number of options to assist including:

Payment arrangements
Where ratepayers are unable to pay their rates because of suffering a loss or reduction in employment, Council will approve extended instalment payment plans. Interest penalties can be put on hold during the period of the arrangement.
Requests will be considered on a case by case basis. Contact Council and ask for the Revenue team, on 4780 5000.

Small business

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) is just starting to have its full effects and we understand that small businesses may also experience financial difficulties as a result.
Council can offer arrangements to pay rates and debtor accounts over a period of time, and on an interest free basis. Please contact Council on 4780 5000 and ask to speak to the revenue team.

All requests should be referred to the Council’s Revenue Section so notations can be included on rate and debtor accounts. Contact Council and ask for the Revenue team, on 4780 5000.

On this page

What are rates?

All councils levy rates on land within their local government area. We are required by law to charge rates in order to provide essential services to the Blue Mountains community. 

Your rates and annual charges help pay for parks, swim centres, sports grounds, walking tracks, libraries, community halls, roads, carparks, footpaths, stormwater pipes, bins, emergency services and more.

Get a breakdown of how your rates and charges are spent each year

Land valuation FAQ

To find out more about land valuation, download the Land valuation FAQ here.

Council fees & charges 

Please refer to Council’s Fees and Charges 2021-2022 for the full list of charges in this financial year. Download the document below.

Local Emergency Management Charge (LEMC)

The LEMC has funded Council’s statutory contributions to the Rural Fire Services (RFS) and State Emergency Service (SES), as well as Council’s bushfire and emergency management programs, since 1996-97.  It is unique to the Blue Mountains, as the City is located in an at-risk landscape which requires higher levels of emergency service capability than other local government areas. This charge is a flat rate for all properties, regardless of the land value and is itemised separately on the annual rates and charges notice.

Domestic Waste Service Charge

This is the amount charged to the property for the Domestic Waste Service. The charge depends on the type of Domestic Waste Service provided at the property eg. Standard, Large, Small.  The charge is calculated by multiplying the service charge by the number of services provided.

Local Emergency Management Charge $57.16
Domestic Waste Standard Service (140L Bin) $480.50
Domestic Waste Large Service (240L Bin) $643
Waste Services Charge (Vacant Land) $165
Domestic Waste Small Recycling Service $480.50
Domestic Waste Large Recycling Service $516
Domestic Waste Large Garbage bin & Recycling Service $679
Residential Additional Garbage (140L Bin) $233
Residential Additional Garbage (240L Bin) $396
Residential Additional Recycling (240L Bin) $70
Residential Additional Recycling (140L Bin) $62.70
Residential Additional Recycling (360L Bin) $106
Residential Additional Green (240L Bin) $67
General Non Rateable Premises (240L Bin only) $396
General Non Rateable Premises Recycling (240L Bin only) $70
Waste Services Charge (Vacant EP Zoning) $20

Other Charges

On Site Sewer Management Aerated  $46
On Site Sewer Management Aerated - Pensioner $23
On Site Sewer Management Absorption $68
On Site Sewer Management Absorption - Pensioner $34
On Site Sewer Management Multiple System $99
On Site Sewer Management Multiple System - Pensioner $49.50
On Site Sewer Management Pump out $42
On Site Sewer Management Pump out - Pensioner $21

When are rates due?

Annual rates and charges are divided into four quarters and are referred to as 'instalments'. 

The rates notices are issued approximately four weeks before payment is due on the following dates:

Instalment 1: 31 August 
Instalment 2: 30 November
Instalment 3: 28 February
Instalment 4: 31 May

Download 'How to read your rates notice' below.

Payment of rates can be paid in instalments, by the dates listed throughout the Rating Period, or paid in full by the first instalment date.

Periodical payments can be arranged through Council via a direct debit authority.
To register, complete our Direct Debit form and return it to us.

Issued rates notices are based on information current at the time of processing so it is important that all ratepayers ensure that their details are up-to-date. Any payments made during the time allocated for printing will not be shown on the notice. 

NOTE: If you have not received your rates notice within two-three weeks of an instalment date, please call the Council’s Revenue section on 4780 5000.

Pensioner concessions

Eligible pensioners may be eligible to get concessions on their ordinary rates and domestic waste management services charge. 

Eligible ratepayers are entitled to receive up to:

  • $250.00 on ordinary rates and charges for domestic waste management services
  • $87.50 off their annual water rates and charges (where service is provided by Council)
  • $87.50 off their annual sewerage rates and charges (where service is provided by Council).

In 2021/2022, Blue Mountains City Council is also providing up to an additional $40 concession on the Waste Services Charge for eligible pensioners.

Concessions may also be granted to ratepayers suffering financial hardship in certain circumstances.


Holders of the cards listed below are eligible for the concession:

  • Holders of a Pensioner Concession Card (PCC)
  • Holders of a gold card embossed with ‘TPI’ (Totally Permanently Incapacitated)
  • Holders of a gold card embossed with ‘EDA’ (Extreme Disablement Adjustment)
  • War widow or widower or wholly dependent partner entitled to the DVA income support supplement.
  • Persons who have received a lump sum mentioned in section 234(1)(b) of the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004 of the Commonwealth or are receiving a weekly amount mentioned in that paragraph, and do not have income and assets that would prevent them from being granted a pensioner concession card (assuming they were eligible for such a card)
  • Persons who receive a general rate of pension adjusted for extreme disablement under section 22(4) of the Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986 of the Commonwealth, or a special rate of pension under section 24 of that Act.
  • Persons who receive, or who at some point in their life have been eligible for, a Special Rate Disability Pension under the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004 of the Commonwealth.

Please note: If you are a war widow or widower or wholly dependent partner but do not have a Pensioner Concession Card, you should contact the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) to test your eligibility for a PCC. Eligibility is determined by an income and assets test. Visit Department of Veterans’ Affairs website or call 1800 555 254.

If you have become an eligible pensioner since the issue of your last rates notice, the concession will apply proportionately to the number of full quarters remaining in the financial year. 

Please ensure that you bring your Pensioner Concession or Veterans’ Affairs Pension card along when lodging your form so that it can be sighted by the Customer Service representative who assists you.

Download the Pensioner Concession Application Form below.

Having difficulty paying?

Extensions of time to pay

If required, an extension of time may be granted for the payment of rates. If you are unable to pay any instalment in full by the due date, please contact the Council’s Revenue section on 4780 5000 at least one week prior to the due date to discuss a mutually acceptable payment arrangement.

Payment arrangements

We recognise that at times some people may have difficulty paying their rates. While the Council is not permitted under the Local Government Act 1993 to waive rates, we may agree to enter into an arrangement whereby outstanding rates are covered by periodic payments. 

For Residential and Farmland ratepayers who experience permanent financial hardship, the Council’s Hardship Relief Policy may also provide rate relief. 

Download the Hardship Relief Policy

What happens if you don’t pay?

Rate amounts not received by the due date are subject to daily interest charges. The interest rate is set by the Office of Local Government. If rates remain unpaid, the Council may take legal action to recover these unpaid rates. The debt recovery for all unpaid rates and charges is undertaken by the Council’s mercantile agency, Recoveries & Reconstruction (Aust) Pty Ltd.