Mayor's Message - 19 July
Local conservation hero, Dr Peter Dann, is retiring from Phillip Island Nature Parks. The man credited with bringing the Little Penguin colony back from near collapse is humble and about to start a new era in his life. He has had an incredible, positive impact on the Phillip Island environment and will be missed despite leaving a great team behind him. Good luck in retirement and the bucket list Peter.
We are all about to get our rates notice and because some property values in Bass Coast have increased substantially over the past 12 months, some people may see a large jump in their bill.
For the 2022/23 financial year, the State Government’s rate cap has been set at 1.75 per cent. The rate cap applies to the total income Council receives from General Rates and the Municipal Charge; it does not apply to waste charges or the Fire Services Property Levy. The 2022 revaluation of properties in Bass Coast may affect the overall percentage increase of your rates. This is due to either an increase or decrease in your property valuation, when compared to the average increase of the whole Shire. If your valuation increased and was greater than the Shire average, then your rates may increase to an amount higher than the rate cap percentage. If your property valuation is lower than the Shire average, then your rates may increase by less than 1.75 per cent, or even decrease.
We are really mindful that there will be some people in our community who may find it difficult to pay their rates this year. There is no doubt that many residents will be feeling the pressure of higher interest rates, bigger power bills, and petrol and food prices going up.
We recognise that some people are doing it tough, so we have special assistance measures to help people pay their rates. We know everyone’s situation is different, if you receive your rates notice and you are concerned, make sure you talk to us. Our friendly Rates Team is happy to talk to you about your account, what you can afford, and how frequently you can make payments. We encourage you to please contact us to discuss your account so we can help you manage the outstanding amount according to your individual circumstances. We encourage you to sign up to eNotices, which will give you the option of using direct debit to pay your rates off in quarterly instalments, or we can arrange flexible payment options for ratepayers who are struggling financially and might find it easier to make weekly or fortnightly payments. We welcome early conversations about hardship and we can provide more payment options to those who qualify under our Hardship Policy.
If you need a little extra help or just need to talk to someone about your finances, consider getting in touch with a local support service, such as Rural Financial Counselling Service and the Salvation Army. Services Australia offer free finance webinars and our Community Supports Guide also lists a range of support services at www.basscoast.vic.gov.au/support.