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Source: State of Victoria Local Government

Ararat Rural City residents who are experiencing financial difficulties during COVID-19 restrictions are being encouraged to apply for dispensations on paying their rates.

Council CEO Dr Tim Harrison said an interest hold followed by payment plans and rates deferral were being offered to people who qualified under the Council’s COVID-19 Financial Hardship Guidelines.

Dr Harrison said Council understands that this quarter’s rates instalment notice – which has been posted to residents today – may cause distress for some people who have lost work or are in a financially difficult position due to the pandemic.

Dr Harrison reassured residents that Council will make every attempt to work with locals to help them manage financial stresses during this difficult period.

“Council wants to help residents manage any financial issues they are facing – we are here to help you through this very stressful time,” he said.

“I encourage anyone in financial difficulties at this time to read through the guidelines and apply for the rates dispensations using the application form on our website.

“Under the guidelines, Council will provide a hold on interest for all outstanding rates for the period from 16 March until 30 September 2020 where ratepayers make an application. This will allow time for the debt to be paid without interest.”

Dr Harrison said that Council will then provide two options to ratepayers to manage their outstanding rates:

  1. A payment plan to help them manage their debt.
  2. Rates deferral for those unable to enter into a payment plan.

The Council’s COVID-19 Financial Hardship Guidelines and application form is available on the Council’s website – click here – or by phoning (03) 5355 0200.