DISCOUNT EXTENDED: Council in favour of rates change
RATEPAYERS will have an extra 60 days relief from paying rates after Gladstone Regional Council voted to extend the discount period for the 2019 rates notice.
Mayor Matt Burnett successfully put forward a notice of motion at today's meeting to extend the discount period following community feedback and time delays with postage.
The amendment will see the 10 per cent discount period extended to November 18 and the five per cent discount period extended to December 18.
"I am very pleased council supported my notice of motion as this will allow rural, residential, commercial ratepayers and, in particular, our pensioners extra time to take advantage of the discount periods," Cr Burnett said.
"This will see the total 10 per cent discount period extended to 90 days and the five per cent discount period extended to 120 days."
Council's decision was a unanimous one.
Cr Burnett admitted during the meeting that public messaging surrounding the decision to revert to an annual rate notice could have been executed better.
"Obviously this year council made the decision to revert back to a single rates notice and my feedback from the community is that hasn't been communicated well," he said.
"By extending the discount period you'll find more people will take the opportunity to get that discount."
Cr Burnett said property owners could also make payments via a range of options, instead of paying a lump sum.
"This year, ratepayers can design their own payment plans which includes options to pay weekly, fortnightly, monthly and for the first-time rates can also be paid on a quarterly or half-yearly basis," he said.
"There are multiple ways you can make rates payments; including, paying by instalments, online, by phone, mail, in person or direct debit.
"The rates notice includes subtotals, including general rates, cleansing, water and sewer charges, water consumption charges and a Queensland Government emergency management levy."
The half-yearly water notice issued in February for residents connected to a potable water will now only include the water consumption charges from July to December 2019.