Ratepayers feeling the pinch financially because of COVID-19 will continue to be supported with Ipswich City Council extending its rates relief program.
Ipswich Mayor Teresa Harding said under the relief program, ratepayers have been provided the opportunity to pay off rates over a longer period of time, have their discounts granted and interest waived until 30 June 2022.
“Ratepayers who have identified as having been financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and who are continuing to proactively engage with council to address their rate arrears, have been able to access these relief measures which were adopted in conjunction with the 2020-2021 budget,” Mayor Harding said.
“Prior to that, from late March 2020, council slowed its usual recoveries processes and implemented a softer approach to longer term arrears.
“In April 2020, as an initial step regarding rates relief, council approved an extension to the discount and due date for payment for the April-June 2020 rate notices, extending the applicable discount date from 14 May 2020 to 18 June 2020 for all ratepayers.”
Governance and Transparency Committee Chairperson Councillor Jacob Madsen said there were 836 ratepayers who were financially impacted by COVID-19 in the 2020-2021 financial year, who had sought help from council.
“Council was able to assist those ratepayers through its rates relief program and 462 have now returned to normal payments and are no longer in arrears,” Cr Madsen said.
“This time of year can be a particularly stressful time for households.
“If you are having difficulties managing the payment of your rates, please contact council to arrange a payment plan with our staff, who are here to help.”