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Rates and Water FAQS

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When are rates due?

Rates are due on the following dates for each rating year:

  • 31 August
  • 30 November 
  • 28 February 
  • 31 May 


Late payments

Failure to pay rate instalments by the due date will result in interest charges of 6.0% pa calculated daily on the outstanding balance. This percentage is prescribed by the Minister for Local Government. Council utilises the services of an external debt recovery agency for all outstanding rates and charges and seeks ratepayer assistance in paying their rates by the due dates. Those people having trouble meeting payments should contact Council on 1300 445 586 to make suitable financial arrangements as early as possible and before the debt becomes unmanageable. Ratepayers should be aware that Council has the authority to sell property for the recovery of outstanding rates. Note: In accordance with Section 566 of the Local Government Act 1993 Council charges interest on all rates and charges that remain unpaid after they become due and payable. Rates and charges become payable one month after the date of service of the rates notice unless a person elects to pay the rates and charges by instalments. Where a person elects to pay by instalments, rates and charges become payable on the due date of the instalment.


Update My Details

If any of your details have changed please notify Council by completing and submitting the relevant form, which can be found here.



Why do I have to pay Council Rates?

Councils help local communities run smoothly.  They administer laws and regulations to help maintain and improve services and facilities for the community. The rates you pay allow Hilltops Council to fund these services.


How does council decide rates and charges?

Each council is required to determine the combination of rates, charges, fees and pricing policies needed to fund the services it provides to the community. This is called a revenue policy. The revenue policy contains a rating structure that determines which rates and charges you will have to pay and how they will be calculated. Charges are generally determined each year, and last for a particular financial year. Some charges are according to a user-pays principle – or they may be a combination of both, for example, water supply charges. Councils can choose how they calculate and distribute rates among categories of rateable properties in the council area. For each category or sub-category, rates can be calculated in one of three ways. They can be based:

  • entirely on the land value of the property
  • on a combination of the land value of the property and a fixed amount per property
  • entirely on the land value, but subject to a minimum amount.


Rates are calculated according to the value of land in the area. The value of land in Hilltops Local Government Area is determined every three years by the NSW Valuer General. There are many factors that are taken into consideration when deciding on land value including recent sale prices, zoning and access to public facilities. This means that rates charged in Hilltops will be different to rates charged in other Council areas.


Concessions/rebates on rates?

Concessions are available for eligible pensioners. To be an eligible pensioner you must receive a pension from either Centrelink or the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, and be entitled to a pensioner concession card issued by the Commonwealth Government. You can only claim a concession on the property if it is the sole or principal place you live.

How do I apply for a pensioner concession?

You need to complete an Application for Council Pensioner Concession Rates Rebate form, which can be found in the Rates & Charges section of the Forms page. Please email, post or submit in person the completed form to Hilltops Council.


When are rates due?

Rates are levied each year for the period 1 July to 30 June. 


Why was I charged interest on my rates?

Interest will be charged when you fail to pay your rate notice or rate instalment by the due date. Interest accrues daily on overdue amounts. The rate of interest is set by Council but does not exceed State Government regulation percentages. The best way to avoid being charged interest on your rates is to make sure payment is made before the due date.


What if you cannot afford to pay your rates?

Council may be able to assist by agreeing to alternative payment plans. If you are having difficulty in paying your rates, you should contact Council on 1300 445 586, preferably before the account becomes overdue, to discuss the options available. Hardship concessions can be considered by Council under certain circumstances.