Government Rates Relief Program Extended
Published on 15 September 2020
- Bushfire affected property owners can now register with Council to apply for the Government’s rate relief program by calling 1300 275 782 (1300 ASK SVC). They are asked to have a copy of their recent council rates notice on hand when making the call.
Snowy Valleys Council is assisting ServiceNSW to help streamline the process for bushfire affected property owners to apply for rates relief.
The NSW Government initially offered rate relief to people whose homes and buildings had been bushfire damaged beyond repair, and is now providing a further 6 months of rates relief for eligible home, farm and business owners whose properties were damaged beyond repair in the 2019-2020 bushfires.
The six-month extension will cover rates notices for quarter 1 (July – September) and quarter 2 (October – December) of 2020-2021.
CEO Matthew Hyde said, “We are very pleased that Council has been successful in our advocacy to expand the rate relief program’s eligibility criteria, recognising the impact of the fires extended beyond just homes and buildings.
“Council is now working hard with ServiceNSW and advocating to Resilience NSW to develop a process for the relief program that is equitable and easily accessible and builds on the data collected from other agencies to streamline the process,” he said.
“We have agreed to assist with the collection of landholder registrations to help simplify the application process and to ensure everyone has the opportunity to apply”.
The Government 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.
Council’s quarter one rates notices were sent out to all Snowy Valleys’ rate payers in late August and Mr Hyde said any ratepayer deemed eligible for the rates relief package who had already paid their rates would be afforded a credit as part of the process.
“I need to be clear that it is ServiceNSW who will approve the eligibility of land owners for rates relief, not Council,” he explained.
“Our role is to accept and collate registrations and provide that information to ServiceNSW for their approval”.
While registration is no guarantee of eligibility Mr Hyde encouraged anyone whose properties were largely damaged by fire to call Council’s customer service team and register their information for consideration.
“The worst thing that can happen is that you don’t register and you could have been eligible for relief,” Mr Hyde said.
Residents have until the 28 September to register their information with Council before it is sent onto ServiceNSW for collation and the approvals process.
“We’re not sure exactly how long the process will take and when people will be advised of their eligibility but we estimate it will take at least 8 weeks for feedback and next steps in the process,” Mr Hyde said.
Bushfire affected property owners are encouraged to call Council on 1300 275 782 (1300 ASK SVC) before Monday 28 September to register their details for the Government’s bushfire rate relief program. Anyone who has already received past bushfire rates relief is already eligible and need not reapply.
Callers should ensure they have a copy of their most recent Council rates notice on hand and be prepared to provide property and personal information over the phone for collection and sharing with ServiceNSW.