Businesses, families, and individuals in bushfire affected communities will get immediate tax relief, with local people at the heart of the recovery and rebuilding efforts, the Victorian Government has announced today.
Premier Daniel Andrews visited Corryong today, alongside Bushfire Recovery Victoria Chair Ken Lay, to announce these initial support measures for local residents and local councils.
Businesses, families, and individuals whose properties have been destroyed or substantially damaged by bushfires will receive ex-gratia relief for their 2020 land tax assessment. Land tax will be also be waived on eligible properties being used to provide free accommodation for people who need it.
This immediate tax relief follows the declaration of a State of Disaster and is similar to the assistance provided by the Victorian Government to communities following the February 2009 fires.
For people who decide not to rebuild in their local community, the Government will provide up to $55,000 in stamp duty relief if they buy a home elsewhere.
For people who lost motor vehicles due to bushfires, they can receive up to $2,100 in ex-gratia relief from the duty on up to two replacement vehicles.
The State Revenue Office has suspended land tax assessments in affected areas, and will continue to support businesses in fire-affected areas.
The Government understands that recovery and rebuilding efforts need to be driven by local people – that’s why we’re providing Councils $7.3 million to put in place dedicated local teams to coordinate and drive bushfire recovery efforts.
Each council will set up a Bushfire Recovery Directorate for twelve months to oversee bushfire recovery, focusing on rebuilding and planning, economic development, support for the farming and primary production sectors, and the ongoing well-being of community members.
This initial funding package will help ensure that recovery efforts are undertaken by locals who live in and know their local community.
The Government has also approved a temporary 3-month increase in allowances for mayors and councillors in the Alpine, Towong and East Gippsland Shires. This reflects the significant additional demands and acute pressures on mayors and councillors during this time and is based on the experience of the February 2009 fires.
As noted by Premier Daniel Andrews
“When it comes to local communities, local people know best. We will take the lead from them and give their communities and local councils the support they need to recover and rebuild.”
As noted by Treasurer Tim Pallas
“The last thing people need to worry about when they are rebuilding after bushfires is the next tax bill coming in – these measures will support local businesses and help get local residents back on their feet.”
As noted by Bushfire Recovery Victoria Chair Ken Lay
“I will continue to visit communities devastated by bushfires to hear their concerns first hand and to make sure we respond with practical measures that best support their recovery.”