Townsville City Council is delivering on its Budget commitment to support ratepayers impacted by the unprecedented monsoon.
Monsoon-affected ratepayers will have an extra three months to pay when rates notices are sent out this week.
Rates for eligible monsoon-affected ratepayers will be due between 6 and 9 December – unaffected ratepayers will pay their rates next month.
Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill said Council is doing all it can to help the owners of damaged homes and businesses.
“Life has returned to normal for many people, but we will still have a lot of damaged homes and businesses across Townsville,” Cr Hill said.
“The clean-up after this event will include unexpected bills, so we want to ease the financial stress on Townsville home and business owners.
“Council acknowledges the hardships some residents and businesses are still experiencing and has offered monsoon-impacted properties the three-month extension.
“This will give them more time to pay their rates while they’re getting back on their feet.
“Rates revenue from all properties fund Council services and infrastructure and the unprecedented monsoon means that ratepayer funds are also being used to repair city assets.”
Townsville Local Recovery and Resilience Group Chair Deputy Mayor Les Walker said the rates relief will be welcomed across the city.
“It has been six months since the monsoon and a lot of people are still trying to get back into their homes,” Cr Walker said.
“The recovery rate will vary and it is important for us to help when we can.
“People will have extra expenses at the moment, so a three-month rates extension will ease the pressure in a lot of homes and businesses.”
Governance and Finance Committee Chair Cr Verena Coombe said Council is also offering ratepayers an opportunity to cut their water costs.
“The Water Opt-in period for 2019/20 is now available until 25 August and it gives people a chance to choose a water option that suits them,” Cr Coombe said.
“Our Water Watchers Plan may be a cheaper option for residents with low consumption.”
Cr Coombe said Council is also making itself more accessible to residents.
“We are extending the hours of our customer service team at Walker Street so we can now help residents from 8am weekdays,” Cr Coombe said.
“This will help ratepayers get assistance before normal business hours.
“People have a lot of questions at the moment and this gives them more time to talk to a customer service officer face to face.”