IN NEWS to be welcomed by home owners and small businesses throughout the Central Highlands, the council has decided to extend the discount period on rates notices to June 27.
Cr Kevin Pickersgill said, while making the decision after the notices were sent was not ideal, it was needed.
"The timing is not perfect," he said. "But it is a good gesture by council."
Mayor Peter Maguire said a rates concession would help struggling locals.
"There is the drought, the downturn in the mining industry... with all the things going wrong people struggle," Mayor Maguire said.
Emerald Real Estate and The Irish Village's Jason Campbell said small business owners were struggling across the Highlands.
"I obviously encounter a lot of small business owners through the real estate and the Irish Village and a lot have had to have payment plans put in place for tax payments," Mr Campbell said.
"If they had to pay rates immediately they simply wouldn't be paid.
"It is putting off the inevitable though, which simply is a bill some people will not be able to afford."
Mr Campbell said a lot of home owners who owned multiple houses would be thankful for the extra time to pay.
"Obviously the extra time allowed does assist anybody, whether they have a single or multiple dwellings," he said.
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