Rates information

A primary source of funding

Interior of the Customer Services Centre

Kempsey Shire Council has many services which are funded from rates. For example, the maintenance of roads and parks and gardens; libraries; community services for senior citizens and youth; food inspections; dog control; tourism and many more.

Rates are the method by which the community contributes to services which provide an acceptable standard of living.

The main sources of Council's income are:

  • rates
  • fees and charges
  • grants
  • borrowings
  • interest on investments

Council is required by law to impose rates. However, Council has considerable flexibility in working out the "mix" of income sources.

More information

Where do your rates go?

Council worker emptying bin

Many people believe that the money received in rate payments amounts to the total income for Council in any given year. In fact, out of a budget of $66.1 million, general rates amount to just $12.8 million and water and sewer charges total $15.7 million - that's just over 43% of the total budget required to provide services, facilities and to maintain essential Council infrastructure.

Some of this infrastructure includes an 1,150 kilometre road network, 7 water supplies, 6 sewerage treatment works, over 160 bridges and in excess of 220 hectares of sporting fields, playgrounds and reserves as well as Council's community service and regulatory activities.

Council sources the remaining $37.6 million through grants, loans, fees and charges, contributions and interest.

Hardship relief to ratepayers

Kempsey Shire Council has a Harship Relief to Ratepayers policy in place to provide relief to eligible ratepayers who are experiencing genuine financial difficulties in paying their rates and charges.


  • To provide relief to those ratepayers who are experiencing genuine financial difficulties in paying their rates and charges.
  • To detail the eligibility criteria and assistance available to ratepayers suffering hardship in paying rates and charges.
  • To provide staff with the criteria to determine "Applications by Ratepayers Suffering Hardship".

Procedure and application form

To apply for relief, download and complete the application at the end of the Procedure form below then submit to ksc@kempsey.nsw.gov.au

Related policies

Receive your Rates and Charges notice by email

Did you know that you can now choose to receive your Rates and Charges notice via email each quarter? This fast and secure option is environmentally friendly and reduces Council’s postage costs.

Call Council's Customer Centre for details on 6566 3200

Rates and rate payments

How can rates be paid?

By internet

Credit card payments
Mastercard logoVisacard logo

Payments to a maximum of $1,000 will be able to be made using Australia Post Billpay over the Internet using your Mastercard or Visa. You will be able to simply quote the Biller Code along with your customer number, the amount being paid and credit card details.

A minimum payment of $20 is required for credit card payments.

By direct debit - through Council

As a minimum of fourteen days is required for Council to arrange your first deduction, please complete the Direct Debit Request form and you may care to read the Direct Debit Agreement and the Direct Debit Cancellation form.

Please make sure you sign in the signature areas on the Direct Debit Request form and return to Council in person, or post to the following address as soon as possible:

Kempsey Shire Council
PO Box 3078
West Kempsey NSW 2440

Once the form has been received and verified by your financial institution, each time a rate payment is due, a notice will be forwarded to you as usual indicating the date and the amount which will be deducted from your account on the last working day of the month. Council offers quarterly and ten monthly direct debit for ratepayers.

Please ensure that adequate funds are available on this date to avoid the possibility of additional bank charges.

A direct debit request will be treated as a request for instalment payments by direct debit unless you specify that you wish to pay the full amount of rates on the due date.

At this stage, a direct debit cannot be made from a credit card account.

Download a Direct Debit Request form or call Council's Customer Centre for details on 6566 3200


By mail

Please make cheque payable to Kempsey Shire Council and send to Kempsey Shire Council, PO Box 3078, West Kempsey NSW 2440

Sufficient time must be allowed for the payment to be received on or before the due date.

At any post office or bank

Present your Rates and Charges notice intact at any post office. If you pay at a post office, no transfer fee will be charged, however, a minimum payment of $20.00 is required.

Personal payment at Council

You may pay in person at Council's Customer First Centre 22 Tozer Street, West Kempsey. Office hours are 8:30am to 4:30pm Monday to Friday.

By telephone - BPAY

Contact your participating bank, building society or credit union to arrange payment directly from your savings, cheque or credit card account. You will need to provide the BPAY Biller Code and Reference Number shown on the Rates and Charges notice.

Due date for the payment of rates and charges by instalments

The due date for the payment of rates and charges by instalments are:

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

Change of postal address

If your postal address has changed, please complete the Change of Postal Address form or notify Council in writing to ensure your Rates and Charges Notice goes to the correct address. The form or nofication can be: