Rates explained

Rates payments make up approximately 55% of Ballina Shire Council’s income each year, making them Council's primary source of ongoing income.

Rates are used to provide essential infrastructure and services and charges are shown on your Rates and Charges Notice.

If you own a home or business property you will pay rates to your local Council, unless your property is exempt from rates (for example churches, schools or hospitals).  These rates are determined in accordance with the Local Government Act 1993.

General Rates

Rates are calculated from property valuations supplied by the NSW Valuer General. The calculation of rates is tied to the improved value of your property.

Land Valuations

The NSW Valuer General supplies the land values used by Ballina Shire Council to levy ordinary rates. The Valuer General revalues properties every three years. The Valuer General is independent of Council. 

As Ballina Shire Council’s overall rates income is limited by rate pegging, an increase or decrease in your land value doesn’t necessarily mean a corresponding increase or decrease in your rates.

If you disagree with your Land Value used, you can contact the Valuer General for a review:

Rate Pegging

Each year the NSW State Government through the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) approves a maximum percentage increase in the total income a council can receive from rates, thereby limiting the amount of income a council can raise via general rates.

Categorisation of land

All rateable land within the Shire is categorised as either Residential, Business, Farmland or Mining. You must advise Council within 30 days of a change in rating categorisation. You can also apply for a review of your rate categorisation.

Rates Calculations

Council uses the method of ad valorem and base amounts. Under this method, Council must impose a rate per dollar (ad valorem) of land value, with a base amount.


The goods and services tax is exempt from Council rates.

Pensioner rebates

If you hold a Pensioner Concession Card or Department of Veterans Affairs Card you may be eligible for a rebate on your general rates, as well as your water, wastewater and domestic waste management charges.  

The maximum pensioner rebate for 2023/24 (100% eligibility per annum) is $425 for residential properties and $250 for rural properties with no water or wastewater charges.

To be eligible for the rebate:

  • the applicant must be the owner, part owner or life tenant of the property (proof of life tenancy under a Will must be provided)
  • the property must be the applicant’s principal place of residency as shown on their concession card
  • complete the Pensioner Concession Application Form (pdf), and return either by email to council@ballina.nsw.gov.au or in person (with your current pension card) to Council's Customer Service Centre, 40 Cherry Street, Ballina


Rates can be paid in full on an annual basis or by quarterly instalments. If you are paying in full, your rates are due on or before 31 August each financial year.

The due dates for quarterly instalments are:

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

Late payments and Interest charges 

Daily interest charges accrue on all overdue rates and charges at 9.0% pa.

Rates overpayment

Overpayment of rates can only be refunded if your account is in credit. You will need to supply sufficient evidence of the payment and complete the:

An administration refund fee of $27 is also applicable as per Council’s fees and charges.

Financial difficulties

Council accepts periodical payment arrangements (weekly, fortnightly or monthly). If you are experiencing severe financial difficulties you may apply for financial assistance under the Financial Assistance (Hardship) Rates and Charges Policy (pdf):

Direct Debit

You can pay your rates via direct debit. You may either complete the Direct Debit Request form or phone the Rates team on 02 6686 1299.

To cancel or amend your direct debit, you need to notify Council 4 days prior to your next direct debit due date, via email or phone the Rates team on 02 6686 1299.

If your direct debit drawing is dishonoured by your bank, Council will charge a $30 dishonour fee.  Your direct debit will be cancelled after you dishonour for the third time.

Council will also cancel your direct debit when we receive a request for a section 603 from your solicitor or conveyancer. The cancellation helps the solicitor/conveyancer determine your settlement figure upon sale of your property.

How to pay

Online visit our Community Portal (credit card only)

Phone 1300 276 468 (credit card only)

Direct Debit download the Direct Debit Request Form - Rates and Water (pdf) (savings or cheque accounts only)

BPAY® biller code is 20404, Customer reference number is your 6 digit rates assessment number. Contact your financial institution and register to pay your account by internet banking. Visit bpay.com.au for further information.

Australia Post take your Rates & Charges Notice to any Post Office (cash, cheque or EFTPOS only, credit card payments are not accepted)

Mail  Ballina Shire Council, PO Box 450, BALLINA  NSW 2478 (detach payment slip and return with cheque or money order)

In Person Ballina Shire Council Customer Service Centre, 40 Cherry Street, Ballina (cash, cheque, money order, EFTPOS, debit card or credit card)

Connect with us

Postal Address

The General Manager
Ballina Shire Council
PO Box 450
Ballina NSW 2478

View more contacts

40 Cherry Street
Ballina NSW 2478


Opening Hours

8:15am - 4:30pm

Monday to Friday