Rates notices to be issued but there's more time to pay

Rates notices to be issued but there's more time to pay

Council has agreed to issue rate notices immediately although there will be an extension of time to September 30, 2020 for payment of the first quarter instalment.

In response to COVID-19, the extension to the payable period has been temporarily granted by the NSW government, which legislates when local councils can collect rates.

Bega Valley Shire Council's first instalment is not due until September 30, 2020 but council said earlier payment was welcome. The second instalment will be due November 30, 2020.

Direct debits will occur on September 30 and it is now possible to arrange to have these payments deducted weekly or fortnightly, council said.

Mayor Sharon Tapscott said rate notices would be sent to property owners during August and encouraged anyone facing financial hardship to contact council.

"We understand the financial hardship being experienced across the shire with the bushfires and now COVID-19 and we have measures in place to support people who are doing it tough," Cr Tapscott said.

"Ratepayers whose properties were destroyed or made uninhabitable in the summer bushfires will be sent extra information with their rate notices about the rate relief that is being provided by the state government to the end of 2020," Cr Tapscott said.

"Originally the delayed notices had been planned to go out on September 1 but council was receiving a lot of questions about when they were being sent so it was resolved yesterday to issue them as soon as possible to allow people more time to pay."

Cr Tapscott said council's website had a handy rates calculator designed to help ratepayers plan their payments.

"It's a good idea to refer to your most recent land valuation when calculating what your rates might be this year. The 2019 valuations were issued by the Valuer General earlier this year and council uses this information to levy rates."

Cr Tapscott also said now was a good time to register to receive notices by email.

"You can register online to have your notices emailed; saving paper, money and time. There is more information about that on council's website and it will also be included on the back of your rate notice," she said.

This story Rates notices to be issued but there's more time to pay first appeared on Merimbula News Weekly.