Rate relief extended for bushfire victims
The NSW Government today announced it will fund a full year of council rate relief for owners of homes, farms and businesses lost in the bushfire crisis.
Deputy Premier and the Minister responsible for disaster recovery John Barilaro said the government is extending council rate relief for eligible property owners affected by the bushfires to help them recover and rebuild their lives and businesses.
“In February 2020 the NSW Government announced it was funding six months of council rate relief for owners of homes, farms and businesses whose properties suffered damage beyond repair in the bushfires,” Mr Barilaro said.
“Now the government is announcing that we will fund a further six months of rate relief for eligible property owners to ensure they can direct more of their finances towards rebuilding their lives and businesses.”
Minister for local government Shelley Hancock said the government has already provided more than $2.4 million in council rate relief to ease the financial burden on bushfire victims.
“The NSW Government is committed to helping our local communities recover and rebuild from the devastating bushfires,” Mrs Hancock said.
“That’s why Service NSW has already paid out more than $2.4 million in council rate relief for property owners in 34 local government areas whose homes, farms and businesses were lost in the bushfires.
“Importantly this funding is paid directly to the local council, meaning ratepayers don’t have to pay anything, and it does not cost local councils anything to support these property owners.”
Council rate relief already paid out covers rates notices for quarter 3 (January – March) and quarter 4 (April – June) for 2019-2020. The six-month extension will cover rates notices for quarter 1 (July – September) and quarter 2 (October – December) of 2020-2021.
The relief package covers the land rates component and fixed service charges, such as waste, sewerage and water, where the amount is included on the council rates notice. Water charges are paid where it is a council-owned water utility. Any eligible ratepayer who has already paid their rates will receive an automatic credit against their account or can speak with their council regarding a refund.
The NSW Government recently announced its unprecedented bushfire support has hit $2.3 billion in funding, with 2500 destroyed properties cleared so far, at zero cost to property owners. Bushfire recovery funding from the government has been distributed through grants, temporary accommodation, clean-up and industry support.