HSC Financial Hardship Policy
The Hinchinbrook Chamber of Commerce, Industry & Tourism is urging business owners who are struggling to pay their rates to take advantage of Hinchinbrook Shire Council’s Financial Hardship Policy.
The policy, which applies to all ratepayers in the Hinchinbrook Shire Council region and extends to local businesses within council’s boundaries, can provide a range of relief measures to business owners and property owners who are unable to pay their rates as the result of COVID-19 or any other circumstances that lead to “financial hardship”.
Property owners and business owners may qualify for an agreed payment plan outside of current debt recovery action and upon completion of the plan, and/or repayment of all outstanding rates and/or charges, council may reimburse interest charges against the property that have accrued prior to completion of the payment plan and withhold legal action and costs associated with recovery.
Interest on unpaid rates is charged at 8.53% and calculated on a daily basis. While this rate is legislatively permissible and imposed to encourage prompt payment of rates, it can be a significant burden in any circumstance but especially for ratepayers that have experienced disrupted cash flow due to government induced COVID-19 restrictions.
Relief is also available to ratepayers that have experienced an undetectable and unexpected water leak through council’s Water Leak Relief Policy.
Property owners and business owners are encouraged to access support and submit an application for relief sooner rather than later.
Ratepayers can contact council on 4776 4600 to request an application form and make further enquiries.
More information regarding the Financial Hardship Policy and Water Leak Relief Policy can be found at https://www.hinchinbrook.qld.gov.au/our-council/rates-fees-and-charges/