Hardship support provides relief for Newcastle ratepayers

17 Aug 2023

As cost-of-living pressures continue to rise, City of Newcastle is encouraging people experiencing hardship to reach out for help with their rates.

City of Newcastle offers a range of support for residents and business owners experiencing financial difficulties, including waiving of interest on any overdue rates and the deferral of rates against their estate.

Ratepayers can enter into a flexible payment option including weekly, fortnightly and monthly instalments as well as other tailored plans.

Executive Director Corporate Services and Chief Financial Officer David Clarke said in the past financial year City of Newcastle had assisted around 800 ratepayers to enter into payment arrangements, while an additional 250 people were supported through our rates voucher scheme.

“We understand that many people and small businesses in our community are facing an extremely challenging time,” Mr Clarke said.

“City of Newcastle will continue to offer hardship support to residents and business owners experiencing financial hardship for the 2023/24 Rates Notice period.

“We encourage those experiencing difficulties to reach out and contact City of Newcastle to discuss a payment plan before the next rates instalment is due on 31 August."

Financial planning and counselling assistance through one of City of Newcastle’s appointed community welfare agencies is also available to ratepayers experiencing hardship.

Mr Clarke said while City of Newcastle was happy to work with people in need, it is disappointing that there are those within the community who chose to exploit this support.

"Unfortunately, there are a small number of people in the community who, despite having the means, choose not to pay their rates," Mr Clarke said.

"This includes one customer who has amassed more than $130,000 in unpaid rates as a debt.

"While this behaviour is not common, it is a disappointing outcome to the detriment of our wider ratepayers ."

Ratepayers experiencing financial difficulties are encouraged to seek assistance by contacting City of Newcastle’s Rates Team on 02 4974 2307 or rates@ncc.nsw.gov.au

For more information, visit City of Newcastle’s Pay Your Rates webpage.