Katherine Town Council has blamed past councils for failing to set money aside for the future.
To many people at last week's rate forum it was a recurring theme of the night.
Today's council accused previous councils for giving it no other position but to tax today's citizens at high levels.
The claims have angered at least one Katherine resident who said they were disgusted with the comments.
"Their verbal abuse of the former mayor and other community stalwarts was a shameful display of arrogance and lack of respect," resident Scott Holden writes in a letter to the editor published in full tomorrow.
A long succession of rate rises was a chief reason the rates meeting was called.
Council maintains it needs to set aside as much as $40 million for a new town rubbish tip.
The replacement of the current facility should have been planned for many years ago, the meeting was told.
"Last Monday's rates meeting left me disgusted and downright appalled at the behaviour of our elected representatives," Mr Holden said.
"Angry councillors demanded that we as a community decide what services should be cut or come up with our own revenue raising ideas. Isn't it their duty as our council to govern as a responsible decision-maker in the interests of its community and not belittle the community that they are allegedly serving?"
Council records show a previous council had built up reserves of more than $8 million in 2011-12 but much of that was lost to a legislated review of asset values.
Another resident who attended the forum but did not wish to be named was similarly upset with what she called the blame game.
"We have the Labor Government blaming the CLP for the state the Territory is in.
"Here we have this council blaming a previous one, from many, many years ago," she said.
"It seems a standard tactic to avoid accepting any of the blame yourself."
The resident also said it would have been difficult for councils of the past to forsee the operational changes from authorities like the EPA in recent years.
Katherine Times asked council whether it could provide the rate rises, or what had been called a period of no rate rises, from councils of the past.
We were told that today's rate percentages could not be compared to those of past years.
A council spokeswoman did supply a set of numbers from an actual single dwelling in Katherine with a rates bill of $656 in 2005.
"On that property, over the next six and seven years, the rates went up about $2, a 0.3% increase.
"This example represents a reasonably constant rates charge between 2005 and 2009, variations to rates and the variances between the years are due to the use of different UCVs and multipliers.
"Hope this helps explain rate increases were minimal," the spokeswoman said.