Payment assistance extended

Payment assistance measures for those experiencing financial hardship as a result of COVID-19 have been extended, to provide continued relief for households and businesses in Knox.

Interest will not be charged on overdue fees and charges – including rates – until March 2021, a six-month extension on the original end date.

New allowances for zero-payment plans, extended payment plans for rates and deferral of debt collection on overdue rates and charges have also been introduced to provide further relief. In addition, interest free periods will continue to be made available for all categories of rate payers, including commercial and industrial rates which were previously ineligible.

Knox City Council Mayor, Cr Nicole Seymour said Council remained focused on providing thoughtful, flexible and timely support measures to the Knox community.

“The COVID-19 pandemic continues to significantly disrupt our society and economy, and create great financial and social uncertainty,” said Cr Seymour.

“Particularly given the impacts of Stage 4 restrictions, we unfortunately expect the demand for hardship arrangements to increase in the final months of 2020.”

“We recognise the extraordinary challenge many in our community face and continue to prioritise programs and services that provide support where it is needed most. It is our goal that extending these provisions will reduce some pressure on those households and businesses who are experiencing true hardship as a result of the pandemic.”

The Payment Assistance Policy introduced in March 2020 extended eligibility to encompass individuals and businesses, in an effort to address emerging consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the livelihoods of the Knox community. Rates notices for 2020-21 are expected to be mailed from Monday 7 September.

Further information on rates assistance are available on Council’s website at www.knox.vic.gov.au/ratesassistance and those seeking help with other payments are encouraged to contact Customer Service on 9290 8000.

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