Council Offers Coronavirus (COVID-19) Rates Financial Assistance Policy

Council will offer a COVID-19 Rates Financial Assistance Policy that will provide affected ratepayers with payment options and assistance if they are currently experiencing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The policy was endorsed at the April Committee Meetings on Tuesday night.

Mayor of the Dubbo Region, Councillor Ben Shields said providing payment options and extensions for rate instalments will allow eligible ratepayers to plan and budget with increased flexibility during these challenging times.

“For some residents and businesses owners income streams have completely ceased and it will take time for them to access the assistance being offered by the state and federal governments. This policy will give Council the ability to assist ratepayers by extending payment periods for May and August instalments with an interest-free period until 31 December 2020,” Councillor Shields said.

Council will encourage eligible ratepayers to set up a payment arrangement with Council that is tailored specifically to the eligible ratepayers’ needs. The aim of the payment arrangement is to have the debt relating to the two rates instalment payments that are due on 31 May 2020 and 31 August 2020 paid in full by 31 December 2020.

“To defer rate instalments all together due to an event like COVID-19 can cause a secondary bout of financial stress when the event has concluded and the deferred rate instalments become due and payable,” Councillor Shields said.

“Council’s aim is to provide support to eligible ratepayers with options for payment of rates instalments through the COVID-19 pandemic, without creating additional financial stress when the pandemic has been resolved.”

Available from 1 May 2020 ratepayers will be required to visit Council’s website, complete an online application and provide supporting documentation to access the provisions of this policy.

Eligible ratepayers will be notified by return email or in writing following the application process.

Last Edited: 17 Jun 2020

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