We have detected that you are running an unsupported version of Microsoft Internet Explorer. Please upgrade to version 9 or above for the best experience of this website

Frequently asked questions about your rates

Under State legislation some pensioners are eligible for mandatory concessions (rebates).

The amount of the concession available on an annual basis is up to a maximum of $250 on all ordinary rates and domestic waste management charges. People who become, or cease to be, eligible pensioners during the year will receive a concession proportionate to the number of full quarters in which they are an eligible pensioner.

To be eligible to receive this concession you must satisfy the following criteria:

  • you must be a pensioner and have a current Centrelink Pensioner Concession Card (PCC), or you must have a Veterans Affairs TPI or EDA gold card, and
  • the property must be your sole or principal place of residence, and
  • you must own the property or be legally liable to pay the rates on the property.

Please note War Widow Pensioners who do not hold a Pensioner Concession card may be entitled to a concession provided they meet an income and assets test.

If you satisfy the above criteria, please complete the online Application for Council Pensioner Concession Rates Rebate.

The form can also be obtained by contacting our Rates team:

Phone: 4988 0393
Fax: 4987 3612
Email: rates@portstephens.nsw.gov.au

The completed form can be returned to Council by mail, email or in person at Council's Administration Building.

Yes. Interest accrues on rates and charges that remain unpaid after they become due and payable. If your rates become overdue and you do not make a repayment arrangement then the matter may be referred to Council's debt collection agency. If the matter progresses to legal action then you will incur expensive legal costs.

Each property falls into one of four categories for rating purposes, dependant on the actual use of the property. These categories are:

  • Residential
  • Farmland
  • Mining and
  • Business

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

More information about land value is available from the NSW Valuer General.

To find out how to access your neighbours details for dividing fencing or other issues go to LawAccess NSW for further details.

Council offers the option for you to receive your rate and installment notices via email instead of paper copies in the mail. Receiving your rate notices electronically is both time and paper saving.

If you register for this service, no paper notices will be sent to your residential address, instead an Adobe PDF version of the notice will be sent to your email.

To receive your rate notice electronically, fill out the Change of Address Form, ensuring you change the selection at the bottom of the form 'Do you want rate and instalment notices emailed to you?' to 'YES'.

There are a number of options available to pay your rates.

Pay by Direct Debit, by mail, BPAY through your bank, telephone, online, via Bpoint or in person. Find out more about the payment options.

Ratepayers receive quarterly rate notices posted to their nominated address. If your current postal address is different from the address shown on the rate notice, please use the Change of Address Application Form.

Please note: Council will not accept notifications of change of address over the telephone. Council offers electronic delivery of rate notices as an alternative to mail delivery.

Section 603 of the Local Government Act 1993 provides for the issue of a certificate for "Rates and Charges".

The certificate states the amount (if any) due and payable to Council by way of rates, charges or otherwise in respect to any particular parcel of land.

This certificate is generally issued as part of the conveyancing process as 'conclusive proof' in favour of the purchaser as to outstanding rates and charges on the subject property for a particular point in time.

Solicitors, real estate agents and members of the public may apply for a certificate accompanied by the approved fee of $85.00 (GST free). Urgent certificates are $170.00 (GST free).

How to apply?

Register for Council's Online Services and complete the ordering of a certificate and pay for it securely online. Payments made using a credit card will incur a fee of up to 1%. (To apply for an urgent certificate with a 24 hour turnaround please use the option below)


Complete the Rating Certificate Application (603) form found on our A-Z forms page and submit via one of the following methods:

  • Email rates@portstephens.nsw.gov.au (do not email your credit card details, we will obtain these from you over the phone)
  • Mail to PO Box 42 Raymond Terrace 2324 (DX 21406 Raymond Terrace)
  • In person to Administration Building 116 Adelaide Street Raymond Terrace

Residents, surveyors and developers can contact Council to enquire about changing their street number address or to apply for the allocation of street addresses for a proposed development. Please contact Council by email addressing@portstephens.nsw.gov.au.

Council follows the NSW Addressing Manual as supplied by the Geographical Names Board (March 2015). See the Land and Registry Services website for access to the policies and guidelines as set out by the Department.

Through Land and Registry Services you can access the street address of a property if you have the Lot and Deposited Plan or, if you have the street address you can find out the Lot and Deposited Plan.

Go to the LPI Searches page for further details.

Higher valuations do not increase total council rate collections as the state government 'pegs' rate rises. New valuations result in some ratepayers paying more while others pay less.

The size of any change in your rate bill, as a result of new valuations, will depend on:
a) how the change in your particular land value compares to the average change in land values across Port Stephens and
b) the extent to which the council can, if necessary, moderate large rises or falls in individual rate bills by altering the base rate/ad valorem percentages.

If you are experiencing difficulty in paying your rates by the due dates, you should contact Council's Rates Team on (02) 4988 0393 as soon as possible, preferably before the account becomes overdue.

Council offers flexibility with alternative payment arrangements.

We will send your annual Rates notice in July of each year for the period 1 July to 30 June. If you wish to pay your rates in full you need to pay by 31 August. If you choose to pay by instalments, your payments are due on the following dates every year:

  • 1st instalment: 31 August
  • 2nd instalment: 30 November
  • 3rd instalment: 28 February
  • 4th instalment: 31 May

Where these dates fall on a weekend the due date will be the following Monday.

We will send an instalment reminder notice at least 30 days before each instalment due date.

NSW Globe is an initiative of Land and Property (LPI) Information to provide you with free and easy access to view up to date imagery, address, terrain and boundary information.

You can also use NSW Globe to view information such as property sales for the last 5 years, land values, zoning, land area and Lot and Deposited Plans.

To launch NSW Globe you need to have Google Earth 7.0.2 or later installed.

Rates are the method by which the community contributes to the funding of many different Council services. Some of these include:

  • Maintenance of roads, parks and gardens
  • Maintenance of libraries and swimming pools
  • The ability to offer community services for senior citizens and youth
  • Animal control
  • Town planning and tourism.

Read the Medium Density Housing Fact Sheet to establish rates.

If you require any further information about your Council rates, please contact:

Council's Rates Department
Phone: 02 4988 0393
Fax: 02 4987 3612
Email: council@portstephens.nsw.gov.au