Rate relief offered in response to pandemic
Wattle Range Council will offer rate relief to all ratepayers over the coming months in an effort to ease financial hardship caused by the pandemic.
“The Coronavirus and associated measures used to ‘flatten the curve’ of infection have had a large impact on all Australians over the past few months. We are deeply concerned about the impact that this pandemic is having on our local businesses and their staff, and our hearts go out to you all” Council’s Mayor Des Noll stated.
At Council’s April meeting, Councillors discussed a range of options for providing rating relief in light of the current emergency. In recognition of this and given the financial hardship that some of our ratepayers, local businesses and their employees are currently facing, Wattle Range Council has waived all interest and fines on overdue rates from the 15th of April until the 31st December 2020.
“The waiver applies to ratepayers who have less than 1 year in overdue rates and will apply to all ratepayers regardless of whether they are affected by the pandemic or not. We do, however, encourage all ratepayers who have the ability to pay their rates as and when they fall due to do so to avoid the risk of long term debt. For some ratepayers, it will be business as usual,” Mayor Noll added.
Mayor Noll went on to say: ”We hope that the waiving of interest and fines on our rates provides some relief in managing ratepayers cash flow over the coming months, while the social distancing restrictions remain in place. However, if ratepayers are experiencing financial difficulty at any time, they should make contact with Council’s Rates Officer to discuss payment arrangement options.
Likewise, if ratepayers are experiencing genuine financial hardship as a result of the current pandemic emergency then they are encouraged to make application in writing to Council’s Director Corporate Services, Paul Duka. Each application will be assessed on an individual and confidential basis and additional supporting information such as financial or bank statements may be required to assist in making the assessment.”
“We understand that circumstances are challenging at present, but our community has shown it is resilient. When this emergency subsides, I am sure that our community will band together to support each other and local businesses in returning to some level of normality as quickly as possible,” Mayor Noll concluded.