Towong Shire

Bushfire Rates Relief Package

Towong Shire Council has received $3.2M from Bushfire Recovery Victoria through the Victorian Government’s Council Assistance Fund. The funding will support our communities in the wake of the Upper Murray 2020 Bushfires.

The funds will be used by Council to credit part of the 2019/20 and 2020/21 rates and business registration fees, as well as fees related to rebuilding of private assets in fire-affected areas.

The relief is intended to help alleviate some of the financial hardship experienced by Towong Shire residents and businesses who have been impacted by the bushfires.

In determining the allocation of rate relief, Council has carefully considered the varying levels of impact resulting from the fires; from direct and severely impacted properties and lives, through to indirect social and economic impacts.

The Bushfire Rates Relief Package is comprised of three components: 

1. Relief for Residents
2. Relief for Businesses
3. Support for Rebuilding and Development

Residents and businesses will begin to receive their rate instalment notice at the end of May. Rate Relief credits will be automatically applied and shown on the notice.

Council has also extended the due date of instalments 3 and 4 to June 30 2020.

Residents who are continuing to face financial hardship are encouraged to contact Council’s Property and Rates Team on 02 6071 5100 to discuss alternative arrangements, including interest free deferment of rates and instalment plans.

Take a look at the Bushfire Rates Relief Package flyer which was sent our with Rates Notices here.

Bushfire Rates Relief Package
1. Relief for Residents

Ratepayer accounts will be automatically credited based on the classifications below and this will be reflected on individual rate notices. All credited amounts will be the equivalent of rates and fees in the 2019/20 Financial Year.

Tier 1: Severe Direct Impact – Loss of Residence and/or Infrastructure (burnt) Automatic once-off credit of rates equivalent to four (4) instalments. 
Tier 2: Direct Impact – Properties within the Fire Zone (burnt) Automatic once-off credit of rates equivalent to three (3) instalments. 
Tier 3: Indirectly Impacted - The Upper Murray Upper Murray properties that are not included in Tier 1 and 2 will receive a once-off credit of $350.
Tier 4: Indirectly Impacted – All Properties in Towong Shire No rate increase will be applied for the 2020/21 Financial Year. Council will not be passing on the approved 5.55% rate increase to ratepayers in the 2020/21 Financial Year, thereby providing relief for all ratepayers.

Three sets of data have been used to develop the Tiers of impact and support: 

• Mapping of the Fire Impact Zone by DELWP;
• Certified Valuations (Post Bushfire) by Valuer-General Victoria; and
• Property Impact Assessments

If residents believe the extent of damage their property has sustained has been recorded incorrectly, please contact Council’s Property and Rates Team on 02 6071 5100.

2. Relief for Businesses
Business Rates

Automatic once-off credit of rates equivalent to four (4) instalments.

Business Registration Fees

Businesses that are classed as Food, Accommodation and Health Act Premises, will have their business registration renewal fees waived throughout 2020 and 2021.New businesses will also not pay a registration fee. While the fees are waived, Businesses do still need to renew their registration.


3. Support for Rebuilding and Development

Building, Planning and Septic Tank Permits: While permits are still required, all Building, Planning and Septic Tank Permit fees will be waived in bushfire-affected areas throughout 2020 and 2021.


How to read your Rate Instalment Notice where a Bushfire Relief Credit has been applied

If you are eligible for Bushfire Rate Relief, you will notice that your Fourth Instalment Notice looks a little different.

There has now been a fourth box added called Bushfire Relief, which will show the Tier of support you are eligible for and the relief credit applied.

As usual, the Account Balance box displays the total amount outstanding on your account. If you have a credit balance on your account, this will be shown in brackets and therefore nothing payable to Council.

Please note: If you are eligible for Bushfire Relief, the Your Account section will not include the Bushfire Rate Relief credit that has been applied.

Therefore please refer to the Account Balance displayed in the last box, rather Your Account section below it.

Here are some examples.

Example Notice 1 – Total credit $350

Example Notice 1 shows that there is an Account Balance of ($350), meaning the account is in credit of $350, therefore nothing is payable to Council.









Example Notice 2 – Payment Due

Example Notice 2 shows that there is an Outstanding Balance of $311 on the account from previous instalments, as well as $311 due for This Instalment.

Minus $350 for Tier 3 of Bushfire Relief.

The Account Balance indicates a balance owing of $272.










DELWP Fire Impact Zone (PNG 886 KB)

Towong-Shire-Council-Bushfire-Rates-Relief-Package_flyer_A4_Joe_3mm_bleed_CMYK_HiRes.pdf (PDF 1023 KB)

Last updated: 17 June 2020