The Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) has started the assessment of a Liverpool Council application to increase its rates by 12 per cent from July 1.
IPART chairman Peter Boxall said all applications would be assessed against state government guidelines.
"The assessment criteria include demonstrating the need for, and the purpose of, the additional revenue, evidence of community engagement and awareness and an assessment of the impact on affected ratepayers," Dr Boxall said.
"Councils need to provide evidence that their communities are aware of the need for, and the extent of, a rate rise."
Liverpool Council is one of 32 across NSW to apply for a special rate variation to increase rates for 2014-15.
Interested groups and ratepayers can make submissions directly to IPART until March 24.
In other news:
Banners reflect diversity
New street light banners, designed to lift the image of Liverpool's city centre, will be launched by Liverpool Council at its Harmony Day celebrations this Friday.
The new banner program, called Liverpool Stories, is part of the council's City Centre Urban Revitalisation Project.
The council commissioned local artist David Capra — the winner of the Blake Prize 2013 Emerging Artist Award — to identify what represented the cultural diversity of Liverpool.
A council spokeswoman said Mr Capra held meetings with groups including MTC Training Solutions, Navitas English Language College, Liverpool Migrant Resource Centre and the Aboriginal Consultative Committee as part of his brief.
"The first series of the selected banners were created by local Aboriginal elders Uncle Stephen Williams and Aunty Wendy Maybury," she said.
"The three initial banner designs provide a strong graphic representation of Liverpool's Aboriginal community while reflecting local environmental elements."