Rates resume as council curbs balance of ‘want and need’
Residents who have had trouble keeping up with their rates payments are again about to be slugged interest, after more than six months of reprieve.
Southern Downs Regional Council voted in the meeting this week to restart interest.
However, the extended 60-day discount period is again offered with a 7.5 percent discount applied to all rates and charges paid by the due date.
Southern Downs Mayor Vic Pennisi said that the introduction of two six-monthly notices in 2020/21 provided an accommodating system to ratepayers.
“Recognising the impacts of recent challenges due to ongoing drought, bushfire recovery and
COVID-19 uncertainty, the council reviewed and overhauled the way rates and charges were issued across the region this financial year,” Cr Pennisi said.
“Council moved from a single annual rate notice to more financially accommodating system of two six-monthly notices and froze rates for the first half of this year with the 1.9 percent COVID-19 concession.”
Cr Pennisi said the decision to remove the COVID-19 relief measures was to support essential infrastructure.
“Council is tasked with providing services such as water, waste, pools and libraries, while also
maintaining our footpaths, parks and gardens. This council has a very real understanding on
investing in our ageing infrastructure,” he said.
“Providing for the community and meeting expectations is not easy and not cheap.
“The funds received from ratepayers are directed and invested directly back into our community and its needs and we will continue to prioritise between needs and wants so that we can get the balance right.”