At this Thursday’s meeting (s4 September), Byron councillors will vote upon extending special payment arrangements for ratepayers affected by COVID-19 to the end of the year.
In March and April this year, Council introduced a range of measures to ease the financial burden on local ratepayers, including offering interest-free rate payment plans.
However, these measures were due to end on September 30, and Council is beginning to receive enquiries from residents following the delivery of 2020-21 rate notices that have a first instalment due date of September 30.
In response to this, Council staff have recommended that the measures be extended to at least December 31.
‘These are unprecedented times with many people experiencing financial difficulty owing to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and associated restrictions,’ Council staff member James Brickley said, in his report to the meeting. The proposed recommendation, if approved, will further assist ratepayers in regard to payment of outstanding rates and charges and provide some flexibility.’
Mr Brickley also recommended that the special payment arrangements be extended to ratepayers who own multiple properties.
Currently a ratepayer can only make use of the arrangements for the property where they currently live.
Since the arrangements were first introduced, Council has received, and accepted, 570 requests for individual properties.