Regulatory changes to take pressure off ratepayers, businesses and councils
Shelley Hancock, – Minister for Local Government, on Friday, 17 April 2020 announced that the NSW Government had made a series of regulatory changes to ensure council resources continue to be focused on frontline COVID-19 response efforts and allow councils to provide financial relief to businesses and residents.
The Minister for Local Government said the changes acknowledge that councils are redirecting resources to ensure the delivery of essential services to their communities across the State.
“Councils are playing a vital role in supporting and protecting local communities during these unprecedented times,” Mrs Hancock said. “The changes provide councils with the flexibility to adjust to rapidly shifting circumstances.
“Importantly, they also give ratepayers more time to pay their rates notices and allows councils to provide financial support to businesses suffering from reduced cashflows or forced closure by waiving or reducing fees.”
Amendments to local government regulations include:
Allowing councils to delay sending out the first quarterly rates notice for 2020-21 and extend the payment deadline by one month; On Monday 3 August 2020 Council advised:
Eurobodalla ratepayers have an additional month to pay their first quarterly rates instalment. The NSW Government, which legislates when local councils can collect rates, has temporarily extended the payable period in response to COVID-19. Eurobodalla Council’s first quarterly rates instalment is due by Wednesday 30 September, however ratepayers can still pay by 31 August if they’re able to. Direct debit payments will occur on Wednesday 30 September. The next quarterly instalment will be due on Monday 30 November 2020. - Enabling councils to immediately waive or reduce fees for services such as food premise inspections and footpath usage for COVID-19 affected businesses, without the need to provide 28 days public notice;