Community Support Response (Financial Hardship and Resources)

Community Support Response (Financial Hardship and Resources)

Brimbank’s Community Response is centred on providing policies that aim to support local businesses, residents and any other ratepayers impacted by financial hardship. Council will continue to review its policies and adapt to reflect a changing world affected by COVID-19 and the associated economic impacts.

Under the Council's Financial Hardship Policies, we are offering the following to approved applicants:

  • Ongoing payment arrangements
  • Holding all interest on accumulated debt until 30 June 2021
  • Deferring rate payments until 30 June 2021
  • Waivers of Commercial rates for COVID-19 affected businesses
  • Deferring animal registration payments until October 2020.

Need a payment plan? Council is encouraging residents to set up a payment plan with Council, tailored to their needs, to help reduce the amount of debt they owe after the pandemic has passed.

  • If you're the ratepayer of a property in Brimbank and are experiencing financial hardship due to he coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic then please complete our COVID-19 Hardship Application (also available in Vietnamese) to make arrangements or defer your rates payments.

Commercial Waivers

In addition to the provisions set out in the COVID-19 Financial Hardship Policy, this policy details additional support for properties that are categorised in the Commercial/Industrial Differential Rate category.

Expanding on the provisions within the Financial Hardship Policy, Council will consider waivers of 15% on the first three instalments of the 2020/21 municipal rates.

To qualify for consideration the following criteria qualifiers must be met:

  • Applications must be made in writing
  • Applications must include evidence to support all claims
  • Property must be classified in the Commercial/Industrial Differential Rate category
  • The business operating within the occupancy must have an annual business turnover of less than $10m for the 2019/2020 financial year
  • The business operating within the occupancy must either:
    • Be eligible for the JobKeeper Program; or
    • Demonstrate a decrease in turnover of 30% or more.

All applications will be considered based on:

  • The length of the proposed arrangement
  • Property use (Business present, Differential Rate Category, etc.)
  • Evidence provided by ratepayer supporting application claims (written).

All claims will be evaluated based on strength of evidence provided. Applicants should provide documentation from certified practicing accountants as well as documentation from the ATO.

Fees and Charges Review completed - some concessions available

An important immediate action within the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Strategy was a review of fees and charges on the community and in particular businesses.

The COVID-19 Response Fees and Charges Review combined with the COVID-19 Financial Hardship Policy, will inform Council’s ongoing approach to supporting the local community,

Following the review Council has introduced new fees and charges concessions as part of its COVID-19 Response and Recovery Strategy actions to limit the impacts on community, businesses and cultural and sporting groups.

Council is offering some waivers for fees and charges to help local sport and recreation clubs, food and other businesses to weather the financial pressures caused by the COVID-19 situation

Fees and charges relief includes:

  • Waivers for sport and recreation club fees – ranging from 50% to 100% waivers
  • Waivers for some business fees and charges – related to Food Act Fees paid by cafes, restaurants, manufacturers; outdoor dining and goods for sale fees; public health and wellbeing fees
  • Planning application fee waivers for small businesses who can demonstrate employment benefit
  • Full waiver of event permit fees for events between 1 January and 20 June 2021, and refunds for events cancelled between 16 March and 31 December 2020
  • Enabling individual businesses to apply for financial hardship to defer payment of Council rates including the St Albans and Sunshine special rates, although continuing to pay St Albans and Sunshine business associations with funds in advance of collecting proceeds to support marketing and business development activities.
  • Pet registration fees deferred till 1 October, with no penalties

More detailed information can be found in the  Fees and Charges Review Attachment (Page 16 of the Agenda Report).

 

Response Initiative

Response Focus

Stage 1/2

Description

Brimbank COVID-19 Financial Hardship Policy

Community Response (Rate & Financial Relief, Resource Support) (Lead)

Stage 1 & 2

This policy aims to provide direction to Council’s Officers when collecting and providing for debts owed to Council and to ensure Council takes into consideration the financial hardship experienced due to COVID-19 for all ratepayers, including businesses and residents, including the provision of payment plans, deferrals and interest hold until June 2021.

Brimbank COVID-19 Rate, Charges and Fee Review

Community Response (Rate & Financial Relief, Resource Support) (Lead)

Stage 1 & 2

This review, combined with the COVID-19 Financial Hardship Policy, will inform the Council’s ongoing approach to supporting the local community, and include:

  • Council fees and charges, including Sport and Recreation Clubs.
  • Pet Registration Fee deferrals for 6 months (until October 2010, with no penalties).
  • Business Fees and Charges including the Special Rates for Sunshine and St Albans Business Associations, Food Act Fees, Outdoor Dining Fees, Public Health and Wellbeing Act Fees, Planning for Small Business Fees and more.
  • The findings of the Brimbank COVID-19 Business Survey.
  • Local Laws, implemented in a fair and sympathetic way, which support local business, but do not infringe on health and safety.

Brimbank Council Budget 2020-21

Community Response (Rate & Financial Relief, Resource Support)

Stage 1 & 2

Brimbank is supporting the Municipal Association of Victoria’s calls for the State Government to defer Council Budgets, in response to COVID-19.

Workforce  Redeployment Strategy

Community Response (Rate & Financial Relief, Resource Support) (Lead)

Stages 1&2

Council will consider on an ongoing basis the redeployment and reallocation of resources across the organisation to help support essential service areas that may experience increasing demand.