Financial Hardship Rate Relief Application

Apply online below for remission of rates or postponement of rates – financial hardship.

Legislation

Remissions of rates, fines and postponement of rates on the basis of hardship are provided for under the Local Government Act 1999. In particular Section 182 contains provision for remission or postponement of rates in whole or in part on the basis of hardship.

Application for remission of rates and postponement

To apply for a remission of general rates or a postponement of rates on the basis of ongoing financial hardship please complete all sections of the attached form. All details supplied are confidential.

Eligible seniors (holders of a current state seniors card) applying for postponement of rates must complete a „Postponement of rates for seniors‟ application form and should not apply using this remission application form.

Rate remissions and postponements – financial hardship

We will accept applications for remission of rates or postponement of rates from ratepayers suffering ongoing or extreme financial hardship, and will consider each application on its own merits. Postponed rates (on the basis of hardship) are also subject to evidenced ongoing extreme hardship criteria. In most instances:

  • Applicants will be required to attend an accredited financial counsellor who must prepare a current income and expenditure statement (this service is available free of charge through some charitable organisations eg Uniting Care Wesley but no longer offered through the Department for Communities and Social Inclusion (DCSI).
  • The counsellor must review the income and expenditure statement and prepare a suggested budget (where appropriate).
  • The counsellor must prepare a letter for council substantiating the current financial circumstances, indicating any advice, assistance provided to the ratepayer and their reasons supporting that a rate remission be granted.
  • A copy of these documents must be provided to council to support the remission application.
  • Other information or evidence may also be requested in certain circumstances.

Property valuation and rates payable

As rates are based on property value, prior to lodging any application for remission, the ratepayer should first determine if they consider their valuation to be a fair assessment of their property. If the valuation is considered to be incorrect, an objection to valuation must be lodged through the State Valuation Office within 60 days after the service of the first rate notice for the current year. Please telephone the State Valuation office on 1300 653 346 to discuss any valuation issues.

Payment of rates pending processing of remission application

Where a ratepayer has applied for a remission of rates or postponement of rates, payment of any amounts due cannot be deferred pending the outcome of their application. Amounts due must be paid as invoiced or statutory fines or interest will apply. Where a rates remission is granted, the applicant will be advised in writing and the adjusted amount will be reflected in the following rates notice.