Pensioners in Orange will benefit from more than $1.5 million in rate reductions under this year’s draft Council budget.
The draft budget for 2022/23 is currently on exhibition for community comment until 19 May.
“The state government provides for rates support for pensioners but the amount offered voluntarily by Orange City Council amounts to more than double that,” Cr Hamling said. “I wouldn’t be surprised if the pensioner rebate gets overlooked among the rest of the Council’s spending plans, and I’d certainly encourage any pensioner who doesn’t know about it to find out more and apply.”
The NSW Government provides a compulsory pensioner rebate for every council area in the state. In Orange this gives pensioners a rates discount worth $1,169,386. The cost of this discount is shared between the state government ($644,522) and Orange City Council ($524,864).
On top of the compulsory rebate, Orange City Council is among a number of councils that provide an additional rebate worth an extra $479,897.
Around 2700 or 16% of Orange’s 16,000 Orange residences are eligible to receive a rebate, which gives an average total discount of around $605 per year for rates and water accounts.
“The system for applying for a rebate is straightforward, and I’d encourage any eligible pensioner to find out more,” Cr Hamling said.
Residents only need to apply once. The form gives the Council permission to check their eligibility every year after that.
“If people hadn’t heard about this and are applying for the first time, Council will also credit them this benefit for the last two years,” Cr Hamling said.
To comment on any aspect of the Council draft budget go to YourSay Orange to complete a quick online survey. The deadline for community comments is 19 May.
MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE PENSIONER REBATE:
Under state regulations, eligible pensioners are someone with:
- a Pensioner Concession Card issued by Services Australia (Centrelink) or
- a Department of Veterans Affairs Gold Card embossed with either TPI (Totally Permanently Incapacitated) or EDA (Extreme Disablement Adjustment) and who own and occupy their residence as their sole or principal place of living.
The NSW Government statutory rebate is:
- a 50% rebate on rates and domestic waste management charges to a maximum of $250, and
- a 50% rebate on water and sewer charges to a maximum of $87.50 each.
In addition, Orange City Council offers a further local (voluntary) rebate to eligible pensioners, which varies depending on when they bought their residence.
Eligible pensioners who were owner-occupiers before 30 June 2006 receive an additional rebate worth 10% of their total rates bill. A rebate worth 5% of their total rates bill is offered to pensioners who became owner-occupiers after this date.
The Pensioner Rebate Application form can be downloaded here.
Applicants must bring the completed form to the Council office so that their Pensioner Card can be sighted.