GCC endorses zero rates bill increase in response to COVID-19

18/05/2020

WATCH VIDEO:  Mayor Kristie explains today's decision by Council to adopt a zero rates increase and what it means for you

Glenorchy City Council has unanimously voted to endorse their COVID-19 Relief Rebate which will see a zero increase in ratepayers total bill for the next financial year, at today’s Special Council Meeting.

Council will also be continuing the financial hardship assistance measures that were introduced in the interim community assistance package announced in March, as well as offering ratepayers the ability to defer rates payments over a longer period or have some Council fees and charges reduced or waived if for those suffering from financial hardship caused by COVID-19.  

 Mayor of Glenorchy, Kristie Johnston, said the measures Council is taking, while needed by the community, were going to come at a heavy financial cost.

 “Our council has decided that we want to do as much for our community as we can and extend a zero increase in general rates to a zero increase in our ratepayer’s total rates bill next year compared to last year. This means that, if you paid $1,000 in rates and charges last year, your bill will stay at $1,000 this year as well, unless you specifically asked for an extra services,” Mayor Johnston said.  

 This will be provided through the COVID-19 Relief Rebate, which will directly offset any increase a ratepayer would have had to pay. Ratepayers do not have to do anything to claim the rebate. It will be included on rates bills, so they will be able to see how much they save. 

 “Before COVID-19 struck we were forecasting a small budget surplus for next financial year.  We’re now forecasting a budget deficit of around $10 million as we spend money on directly helping our ratepayers through our rates rebate, and other projects and initiatives to increase employment, development and stimulate our local economy, which we’ll be announcing more about these when we reveal our full budget in June,” Mayor Johnston said.

 “Council also needs to make sure we don't go bust, which would put vital services to the Glenorchy community at risk and that we can provide a springboard to recovery by investing in our city and its people, making sure that Glenorchy comes out of this better, stronger and more resilient than before.

 “This will put an enormous strain on our finances, but I can assure our community that we will take a slow, steady and planned approach to returning to a budget surplus over time, and to share the burden of recovering from this crisis with our community.”

 You can find details of the support Council is providing to its community on the Glenorchy City Council website: www.gcc.tas.gov.au.