Port Stephens Council has voted to apply for a 7.5% rate rise per annum over seven years.
Councillors spent about an hour discussing the matter at last night's meeting, following opposition from many locals.
Mayor Ryan Palmer believes the area will benefit as result.
“The community has unequivocally told us they want more than we can provide with our current income. They’ve asked us to deliver an array of community projects and infrastructure and while Council is financially fit, we simply don’t have the resources to deliver the major projects our community wants," he said.
“Our community wants better town centres, safer roads, more effective drainage, stronger local economies, more jobs and a brighter future. This Council is not prepared to dash those hopes."
However councillor Giacomo Arnott questioned whether the average ratepayer could handle the extra cost.
Council will now make a formal application to the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal.