Lake Macquarie History

Lake Macquarie Historic Rate Records Search now online

Land rates are fees levied by council’s to support the provision of public services and infrastructure to residents. In order to raise revenue from the landholders, councils had to identify, list, describe and value each individual property within Council’s jurisdiction, as well as determining who would be responsible for paying annual levies for these properties.

Search Rate Records

By documenting this process, councils created a valuable historical resource for researchers. Rate records are one way to discover more about the history of a particular house or family. They can also reveal much about early employment, settlement patterns and development in an area. There are different types of rate records. The records in these indexes are valuation records, compiled by the New South Wales Valuer-General to establish the level of rates applied to properties.The records, currently around 251,000 cover the years 1926 (establishment of Lake Macquarie Shire Council) to 1953.

photo: dobell house rate record from 1944

Please note

Due to the large number of records, and often, poor quality images, there are inevitable discrepancies in the data. Please report any errors to Community History staff via the feedback link on this page. It is important to quote the control number or image link number when suggesting corrections.

How can the information in these records help with my research?

Valuation records can reveal much about land occupation. By referring to records over a number of years, it is possible to gain information on a variety of aspects of a property’s history.

This can include:

Who owned a specific piece of land and was responsible for payment of the rates due.

The occupation of the land owner.

Whether a property was vacant or developed, and the nature of any structures on it.

The age of any buildings standing on a site, this can be tracked by comparing the ‘unimproved capital value’ (land) to the ‘improved capital value’ (land and buildings) the first date that a discrepancy appears between the two values can be taken as indicating construction.

The ratepayer’s address for the receipt of rate notices, which can indicate whether or not the ratepayer occupied the property. Given the high level of ownership from people residing outside of Lake Macquarie the records are relevant to the history of the Hunter Valley especially the area commonly referred to as the Coalfields.

House names - which were also frequently listed.

While rate valuation records deal with the owners of a property, records in the Sands Directory list the occupiers of a property. Using these resources in combination, researchers can determine if a tenant or the property-owner occupied the premises.

Acknowledgement of Country

We remember and respect the Ancestors who cared for and nurtured this Country. It is in their footsteps that we travel these lands and waters. Lake Macquarie City Council acknowledges the Awabakal people and Elders past, present and future.

Council acknowledges traditional custodians throughout Australia. We commit to listening deeply to and collaborating with First Peoples in our work.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website and Council's cultural collections may contain images, voices or names of deceased persons in photographs, film, audio recordings or printed material.

This website may contain place names, opinions and terms that reflect authors' views or those of the period in which the item was written or recorded. These may not be considered appropriate today.

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