Lake Macquarie History

Valuer General Rate Records 1926-1948

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.

photo: dobell house rate record from 1944

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 1948. This project is a work in progress, there are plans to extend the date range to1955, and provide researchers with a sophisticated search option (anticipated completion late 2018).

The indexes to the records are available on three spread sheets, which can be downloaded from the links below. Following the link on the link to image column will bring up the original record.

Rates spreadsheet 1 (1926-1935)

Rates spreadsheet 2 (1935-1944)

Rates spreadsheet 3 (1944-1948)

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.