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 will still apply to any overdue rates and charges. 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. 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 $57.62
Domestic Waste Standard Service (140L Bin) $496
Domestic Waste Large Service (240L Bin) $682
Waste Services Charge (Vacant Land) $174
Domestic Waste Small Recycling Service $469
Domestic Waste Large Recycling Service $533
Domestic Waste Large Garbage bin & Recycling Service $719
Residential Additional Garbage (140L Bin) $267
Residential Additional Garbage (240L Bin) $452
Residential Additional Recycling (240L Bin) $72
Residential Additional Recycling (140L Bin) $64
Residential Additional Recycling (360L Bin) $109
Residential Additional Green (240L Bin) $69
General Non Rateable Premises (240L Bin only) $452
General Non Rateable Premises Recycling (240L Bin only) $72
Waste Services Charge (Vacant EP Zoning) $20

Other Charges

On Site Sewer Management Aerated  $48.50
On Site Sewer Management Aerated - Pensioner $24.25
On Site Sewer Management Absorption $68
On Site Sewer Management Absorption - Pensioner $34
On Site Sewer Management Multiple System $104
On Site Sewer Management Multiple System - Pensioner $52
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.

Please note if choosing to if choosing to pay by Weekly, fortnightly or monthly method, if payment amount does not pay instalment amount in full  by the due date, the remaining balance overdue will incur interest charges. You must notify council in writing (or by email) to change the deduction amount.

For more methods of payments (including Bpay or phone) please see your rates notice for details. 

Rates notices are based on the 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

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:

The maximum amount rebate available is $310.00. Mandatory Rebate of $250.00 plus additional Council funded rebate on the domestic waste service charge of $60.00.

Pro rata rebates are calculated for each full quarter following the quarter in which the pensioner becomes eligible.

  • Eligible on or before 1 July 2022 full rebate $310.00
  • Eligible on or before 1 October 2022  rebate $232.50
  • Eligible on or before 1 January 2023 rebate $155
  • Eligible on or before 1 April 2023 rebate $77.50

Eligibility Criteria

  • the pensioner must own the property or legal life tenant (copy of will must be supplied)
  • the property must be your sole principal place of living;
  • the address on the Pension Card must match the property address

Eligible Cards

  • Pensioner Concession Card*
  • Gold Card ** Totally and Permanently Incapacitated (TPI)
  • Gold Card ** Extreme Disablement Adjustment (EDA)
  • Gold Card ** War Widow/er (WW)

* Issued by the Australian Government
** Issued by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) under the Veterans’ Entitlement Act 1986 (VEA) or Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004 (MRCA).

War widow or widower or wholly dependent partner are entitled to the DVA income support supplement. 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) for the DVA income support supplement. Eligibility is determined by an income and assets test. 

Cards not eligible for rebate

  • The Health Care Card
  • The Commonwealth Seniors Health Card
  • The NSW Government Seniors Card

For more information, contact Council on 4780 5000 or Centrelink on 132 300 or The Department of Veteran’s Affairs on 133 254. 

Complete the Application Form

Download the Pensioner Concession Application Form.

PLEASE NOTE: If joint owners are eligible for a pensioner concession, a separate form will need to be completed by each owner to receive the maximum rebate, otherwise only a partial rebate will be granted.

As part of your application, you will need to provide a photocopy of both sides of your Pensioner Concession Card.

Send your Application to Council

eMail your application to:


Post your application to: Locked Bag 1005, Katoomba, NSW, 2780

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.