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Last modified: 29 Jul 2020 10:40am

Smiling woman with long curly hair and yellow top with black spots looks through some paperworkA longer period to pay rates and lower penalty fees are part of a rates support package adopted by the Council.

The Council yesterday (22 April) approved a rates payment plan to help people affected by the COVID-19 global pandemic, including an extended payment period. Ratepayers will now have until 30 June 2021 to pay their rates, provided they agree a payment plan with the Council.

It also agreed it intends to lower the late payment penalty fee from 10% to 3% for the 2020/21 financial year.

The Council agreed that it would consider a further payment extension option before November this year which, if adopted, would allow people to extend their payment period to 30 June 2022 provided they agree a payment plan with the Council.

The Council also supported the preparation of a rates postponement policy that would be considered as part of consultation for the 2021-2031 Long-Term Plan.

The package is a recognition of the struggles people are facing, and one part of the Council’s work to help the district through the effects of the pandemic and boost recovery, Mayor Sam Broughton says.

“As people are struggling it’s important for us to do what we can to help. We need rates income to be able to keep providing services such as water and rubbish collection, but we also need to be compassionate and realistic about people’s circumstances and that’s what we’re aiming to do with this package.”

People can find out more details and apply for a rates payment extension on our rates page.