Ratepayers in Moreton Bay Region will benefit from the extension of Council’s COVID-19 rates relief program until March next year.
Councillors voted unanimously to extend the program by six months.
Under the program, residents and businesses can apply to enter an interest-free repayment plan.
Mayor Peter Flannery says the program was originally due to end on September 30.
“The coronavirus pandemic has been hard on everyone but this pandemic hasn’t peaked yet, so it’s absolutely essential that we all stay in this together,” he says.
“We’re also not charging any interest on overdue rates right now and we’ve given a $200 rates rebate to every homeowner on JobSeeker to help them through these tough times.”
As well as offering rates relief, Mayor Flannery says Council has rolled out $33 million in stimulus initiatives to support the local economy.
“That’s included an incredible 480 per cent increase in the amount of grants we’ve given to community clubs and sporting organisations to help them maintain their infrastructure and cope through the loss of revenues during forced venue closures.”
As well, $23 million in capital works has been fast-tracked, $26 million in road resurfacing has been brought forward and $4 million in maintenance work made available via tender for local contractors.
Help for pensioners
Pensioners are benefitting too, Mayor Flannery says, with 8800 part-pensioners receiving $100 in rates remission and almost 17,000 people on a full pension receiving $250 off their annual rates bill.
“We’re building our way back to economic success with a $220 million capital works program in this year’s Budget,” he says.
“Spending is up on last year and estimated to support 3000 jobs, on top of the 100 roles we’re currently in the process of hiring here at council to directly employ more locals and provide you with a better standard of service.”
Mayor Flannery says people experiencing financial difficulties can apply for a rates payment plan, which will be considered by Council CEO Greg Chemello, with a prompt turnaround.
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