21 January: With Council rates notices being delivered this week, it's important to remind residents and businesses of the support available.
Residents and businesses across the Scenic Rim will receive their January Council rates notices this week.
While Council rates contribute to the cost of maintaining and improving a wide range of essential community services and facilities, Mayor Greg Christensen said it was timely to remind communities of the support that is available for residents and businesses who may be experiencing financial hardship.
"We recognise that some people in our communities are suffering financially and there are also ratepayers impacted by the ongoing drought and recent bushfires and we want to let them know there is help available from Council," Cr Christensen said.
"The last thing we want is for people to feel additional stress and uncertainty about their ability to pay rates and charges within the timeframes on the notices.
"We recognise that everyone is in a unique situation and may be impacted by illness or loss of employment, and we would encourage them to speak with Council about the options available to them."
In addition to general financial hardship, Cr Christensen said Council also has drought rate relief for primary producers whose rated property is their primary source of income.
"While we've seen some welcome rain over the past week or so, this is certainly not enough to break the drought yet, and we know primary producers have been doing it tough over this period," he said.
Council's latest rate relief extends to eligible landowners directly impacted by the recent bushfires who can defer their January and July 2020 rates notices until 31 December 2020.
"The eligibility period for Council's temporary bushfire rate relief aligns with the activation dates for Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements as defined by the Queensland Reconstruction Authority," Cr Christensen said.
"This is classified as Southern Queensland Bushfires from 6 to 12 September 2019, and the Eastern Queensland Bushfires, which impacted the western part of the Scenic Rim, from 8 November to 19 December 2019.
"The important message from Council is for landowners who have been adversely and directly impacted by the bushfire events that this support is available to them."
Residents and business operators wishing to access drought or bushfire rate relief will need to make direct contact with Council's rates team. More generally, if other landowners and residents are suffering hardship and having difficulty paying rates, they can contact Council to discuss available payment options.
The latest rate payments are due by 20 February 2020 and Council offers a five per cent discount on general rates (where applicable) for payments received on or before the due date for payment.