Rate relief during COVID-19

A person sits at a computer with bills in front of them, a child at their shoulder.

COVID Credit

During the 2020-2021 financial year, Council has determined that ratepayers within Yarra Ranges Council should not pay any more on their general rates in 2020/2021 than they did in 2019/2020.

To make this happen a COVID-19 Credit has been applied to all properties who would otherwise be subject to an increase in their rates and charges during the 2020/2021 year.

The COVID-19 credit will not apply in the following circumstances where:

  • general rates charged for the 2020/2021 year are not higher than those charged in the 2019/2020 year
  • a part year supplementary valuation was applied in 2019-20
  • a full year supplementary valuation is applied in 2020-21
  • a part year rate type change was applied in 2019-20
  • a full year rate type change is applied in 2020-21
  • a property became rateable or ceased to be rateable in 2019-20
  • a property becomes rateable in 2020-21.

Hardship Assistance

All Yarra Ranges ratepayers can also access additional relief for payment of rates, under Council’s Hardship policy.

A change to the policy in response to the COVID-19 situation, allows an extension of payment dates and the suspending of penalty interest for overdue rates. Financial Hardship agreements have also been temporarily made available to all rateable properties, includi

For more information about Council’s relief package, visit Council's Hardship Policy page.

Apply for hardship assistance

Council’s relief package

Council has introduced a number of initiatives for its first stage of relief, including:

  • Due date for payment of current year overdue rates extended until June 2020, with penalty interest suspended during this extended time
  • Any landowner can access payment plans or rates assistance under Council’s revised Hardship Policy, regardless of land usage, with every application assessed on its merit.
  • Assistance can include rates being deferred for 12 months.
  • Anyone seeking help through Council’s Hardship Policy won’t be charged penalty interest or have legal action taken on overdue rates for the period of deferral.
  • Community groups renting Council buildings won’t be charged rent if shut down during the pandemic
  • Businesses renting Council buildings can have rent payments deferred up to six months, with options to review and waive if deemed appropriate
  • Changed payment times for Council suppliers and contractors to get money to businesses faster.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will Council be waiving all rates payments?

No.
Rates collected from properties makes up almost all of Council’s income for each year, which is then used to fund delivery of more than 120 services to the community, including waste collection, immunisations, libraries, road, footpath and drain maintenance and capital works projects (new buildings and infrastructure), and other essential services.

We understand that paying rates may be difficult at the moment, due to impacts to businesses and employment as a result of COVID-19. If you are experiencing financial hardship and are unable to pay your rates, we encourage you to fill out our form to request assistance. However, this assistance can only come in the form of payment plans or deferral, so your rates will still need to be paid by the end of these periods.

We will work with you to offer as much assistance as we can at this difficult time. 

Penalty interest may apply if rates are not repaid by the due date given by Council.

Fill out our form 

How do I apply for hardship?

Visit our Hardship Policy page and fill in the form. We’ll assess every application on its merit and get back to you with more information.

 

Fill out the form here

Am I eligible?

All owners of rateable properties in Yarra Ranges are now eligible for assistance through our Hardship Policy, under this temporary change.

When does this start?

Anyone can apply for assistance from Monday, 6 April.

What are my payment options?

There are a number of options for ratepayers, including payments plans or deferral for 12 months.
If you are approved for a deferral, the rates amount left outstanding will be due at the end of the deferment period. 

What if I still can’t pay in 12 months?

You may apply for assistance again through Council’s Hardship Policy in 12 months’ time if you are still experiencing financial hardship. Please note that the criteria has changed recently so that all landowners in Yarra Ranges may apply for assistance. This may not be the case in 12 months, if the COVID-19 situation is over.

Do I need to apply for the new payment date of June 2020?

No. If you have an overdue amount on your rates, your overdue amount will now be due in June 2020. You will receive a reminder notice with more details shortly.

Please note, if the overdue amount is not paid in full by the extended deadline, penalty interest may apply.

I rent a council building/hall/venue – how do I defer the rent of these spaces?

Our Properties and Facilities Team will be in touch with all Council tenants by phone to discuss options. 

You are also welcome to call us on 1300 368 333.