Kempsey Shire Council got a shock when it received an invoice from Revenue NSW for $516,378 for it's emergency services levy contribution earlier this month.
This is an increase of $91,245 compared to last year's levy.
The increase is related to legislation designed to address a shortfall in workers' compensation that was passed in November.
Local government was not told it would have to cover the $19 million cost via the emergency services levy and only found out in May how much it would be.
Kempsey Shire Council will write to the NSW Government requesting it fund the extra cost for 2019-20 and liaise with the local government sector to redesign the scheme to ensure community services aren't negatively impacted.
Mayor Liz Campbell said while supportive of the new workers' compensation coverage, the levy increase of 21.5 per cent had been introduced without notice or consideration of how the additional funding will impact the delivery services already budgeted for.
"This is not the only thing that has been cost-shifted down onto us in recent weeks and months and this last year," Cr Campbell said.
"It's unreasonable to have this foisted upon us just as we are about to adopt our Operating Plan. No council has budgeted for this in their 2019-20 operating plans."
Local Government NSW is calling on the NSW Government to fund the first 12 months of the scheme and work with councils to ensure the funding mechanism is fairer in the future.
Councils currently contribute 11.7 per cent of the budget required by NSW Emergency Services. These charges are embedded in council rates and insurance premiums.
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