Postponement of rates payments

The Council may help ratepayers by postponing their rates payments in cases of extreme financial hardship.

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Rates postponement policy

Policy objective

To assist ratepayers experiencing extreme financial hardship which affects their ability to pay rates.

Conditions and criteria

For residential and other land rated at the base differential

The postponement of rates in cases of financial hardship is a last resort to assist residents who own their own home after all other avenues to meet rates commitments have been exhausted. The financial hardship must be caused by circumstances beyond the ratepayer's control.

Criteria for the postponement of rates for residential ratepayers in cases of hardship are as follows:

  • the applicant is unable to pay their rates bill because of personal circumstances
  • the applicant has tried all other avenues (including seeking a reverse mortgage from their bank) to fund their rates
  • the applicant has no significant assets (other than their family home)
  • the applicant also accepts a legal charge to the Council over the property

Approval of rates postponement is for one year only. The applicant must reapply annually for the continuation of a rates postponement using the Council's ‘Application for Postponement’ form.

Rates Postponement Form (48KB PDF)

An application fee of $200 will be added to the total value of rates postponed on the first successful postponement application granted on each rating unit.

Before applications are processed applicants must be clearly and fully informed of the long-term effects of postponing rates on their estate.

Annually on 30 June interest will be charged in arrears on rates postponed at a rate equal to the Council's average cost of borrowing at that date.

Note: Some ratepayers may qualify for a rebate. See the rates rebates page for further information.

Rates Rebates

For land rated at the commercial, industrial and business differential

The postponement of rates is a last resort to assist commercial, industrial and business ratepayers after all other avenues to meet rates commitments have been exhausted. The financial hardship must be caused by circumstances outside the business's control.

Criteria for the postponement of rates for commercial, industrial and business ratepayers in cases of hardship are as follows:

  • the applicant must be unable to pay their rates because of business circumstances

  • the applicant must have tried all other avenues (including obtaining a loan from their bank) to fund their rates

  • the net value of an applicant's property (after the value of all mortgages on the property and the total value of the rates postponed) must exceed 10% of the market value of the property. The Council will not postpone rates where there is a significant risk that the rates will not be paid at some time in the future

  • the applicant must accept the Council's legal charge over the property

    Approval process

Approval of rates postponement is a one-off event.

An application fee of $200 will be charged on all successful postponement applications.

Rates postponed on commercial, industrial or business property must be paid in full by the start of the Council's next financial year (1 July). Annually on 30 June interest will be charged in arrears on rates postponed, at a rate equal to the Council's average cost of borrowing at that date.

Decisions relating to the remission of penalties on rates are delegated to the Manager, Financial Transactions, as set out in the Council's delegations manual.