Who is eligible for assistance under the Hardship Policy?

    Eligible ratepayers are ratepayers suffering financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 State of Emergency. 

    Financial hardship occurs where a person is unable to pay rates and service charges without affecting their ability to meet their basic living needs, or the basic living needs of their dependants, or in the case of a business, basic business function

    While evidence of hardship will be required, the City recognises that not all circumstance are alike. The City will take a flexible approach to a range of individual circumstances including, but not limited to, the following situations: 

    • Recent unemployment or under-employment 
    • Sickness or recovery from sickness 
    • Low income or loss of income 
    • Unanticipated circumstances such as caring for and supporting extended family.

    What is required as evidence of hardship?

    Possible evidence required may include: 

    • Individuals (i.e. residential) - Evidence that Centrelink or Jobkeeper allowances are currently being received 
    • Companies and other entities (i.e. commercial and industrial) - Evidence by way of recent BAS returns that evidences a loss of income of at least 50% over a quarter

    What assistance can the Hardship Policy provide to those deemed eligible?

    For ratepayers eligible under the criteria outlined above the Chief Executive Officer should consider the following mechanisms to assist the applicant: 

    • No interest on outstanding rates for 2020-2021 
    • No interest charged on other amounts owing 
    • No interest charged on outstanding Emergency Services Levy if in accordance with State Government guidance 
    • No additional charge (including by way of interest) charged for payments by instalments or payment arrangements 
    • Deferral of 2020-2021 rates and charges as included on the Rate Notice, including arrears, with final payments by 31 August 2021.

    Who is eligible for the Rates Hardship Contribution?

    The Rates Hardship Contribution is available to residential ratepayers who:

    • Have received increased rates in 2020-2021 and;
    • Have faced hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

    Note: Rates will only be increasing for 32.82% of residential ratepayers in the City of Belmont in the 2020 - 2021 financial year.  With the average increase of $75 per property.