The one lump sum payment method for 15 February is no longer available. Greater Shepparton City Council Director Corporate Services Chris Teitzel said the removal of the lump sum option in February allows Council to identify earlier those ratepayers who are having financial difficulty paying their rates.
“Historically, if a ratepayer missed the September first instalment it was assumed they were using the lump sum option in February but if they missed the February date, the ratepayer was left with four months to pay the rates,” said Mr Teitzel. “This increased the chances of penalty interest and debt recovery costs being added.”
“Ratepayers can still choose to pay their rates in a lump sum if they so wish by paying any number of instalments prior to the due dates.”
“If a ratepayer makes full payment after the first instalment due date they will incur penalty interest so it’s very important ratepayers who used to pay in a lump sum are aware of the change,” said Mr Teitzel.
The change was recommended in the 2017-2021 Greater Shepparton Rating Strategy which was made available to the public for submission 21 April to 19 May. No submissions were received and the rating strategy was adopted by Council 20 June 2017.
Mr Teitzel emphasised that ratepayers can contact the Council rates team to organise a payment plan if they are having difficulty meeting these timeframes. “As well as quarterly instalments, ratepayers also have the option of choosing 10 monthly instalments.”
“Council would certainly prefer that ratepayers make contact with our rates team and talk about the options so they do not incur interest on top of their rates.”
“Over the past couple of years there has been an increase in the number of ratepayers taking up the more flexible payment options like the ten monthly direct debits” said Mr Teitzel.
Ratepayers who may be experiencing issues paying their rates are asked to contact Council ASAP on 5832 9700.
For more explanation on rates visit our website.