NEXT year's Albury Council election is set to cost ratepayers $403,000, a 65 per cent leap from the last poll in 2016.
The giant rise has been blamed on several factors, including the Department of Education hiking the rent for schools, which are used for voting, by up to 330 per cent in the last three years.
The NSW Electoral Commission also has a higher staff bill after it was found wages for election personnel were below the minimum.
The $403,542 quote for next year's election came after earlier estimates of $290,000 and $376,000.
The former was based on the previous funding structure, while the latter was tied to changes recommended by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal and approved by the NSW government.
Past Albury mayor Alice Glachan said the city was snookered by the bill which was revealed in a report to this week's council meeting.
"We don't have any other options, other than to just receive and note that report and cop it on the chin and charge this increased cost to our community," she said.
Councillor Darren Cameron said it was a "silly" situation as he deemed the only private alternative to the commission unsatisfactory.
Cr Cameron said when the state government was "not busy cutting the budget to Fire and Rescue NSW" it needed to "get round" to helping councils with election costs.
"I hope that the local member Justin Clancy pays attention to this subject," he said.
Other factors contributing to the electoral commission's higher costs include bills for ballot paper printing rising 30 per cent and a new call centre system.
There has also been a cap put on the hours election day staff can work, resulting in more personnel having to be hired.
Greater Hume Council ratepayers are also facing a spike in costs with the 2020 election bill forecast to be $87,054, up from $58,074 in 2016.
General manger Steven Pinnuck declared he was "astonished" by the jump.