Colac Otway extends no-interest period to support COVID-impacted ratepayers
November 24, 2020
Colac Otway Shire Council is urging ratepayers experiencing financial difficulties as a result of this year’s COVID19 situation and unable to make rates payments to contact Council and discuss payment options.
Council’s Chief Executive Peter Brown said Colac Otway Shire would extend its no-interest period on Council rates to the end of the financial year to assist ratepayers hard hit by the impact of COVID19.
However Mr Brown said a payment plan could prevent ratepayers from reaching July next year and facing the financial pressure of unpaid rates stretching over more than 12 months.
“Colac Otway Shire Council stopped charging interest on unpaid rates from March 1 this year to support ratepayers who were worried about their potential inability to pay their rates because of reduced business income or reduced or lost employment, as a result of the COVID19 situation,” he said.
“Council reviewed its normal procedures regarding rates collection, to ensure no ratepayer was referred to a debt collector.
“The initial no-interest period was set until June 30 this year, then extended to December 31 and the cost to Council was included in the 2020-21 Budget.
“With hospitality and tourism operators still restricted in their capacity and visitors only recently being able to return to our region, Colac Otway Shire will further extend the no-interest period to June 30, 2021.
“We encourage ratepayers with unpaid rates or who are concerned they will struggle to pay upcoming quarterly instalments or the full amount in February to call Council now on (03) 5232 9400 and discuss payment options,” he said.
“Colac Otway will consider any further recovery support and economic response as part of its 2021-22 Budget process during the last quarter of the 2020-21 financial year, when we Council can review the COVID19 situation and business recovery.”