Rates arrears cut by $1.98 million
  • Thursday 23 May 2013

Over the past year, council has been actively working with ratepayers to reduce the number of properties with rates in arrears by more than 3 years, and recovered $1.98 million in arrears.

Since January 2012 to March 2013, council has reduced the number of properties with arrears in excess of 3 years from 265 to 56, and recouped $1.98 million in outstanding rates.

Aware that some residents may be facing financial hardship, Council Finance Chair Cr Chris Thompson said that council worked hard to ensure every effort was made to assist those ratepayers with payment options.

“After initially contacting by mail, council followed up with phone calls, referrals to financial counsellors and one-on-one meetings,” Cr Thompson said.

“Some residents were referred to the Department of Communities housing services to determine if they qualified for mortgage relief loans.

“It’s important for us to work co-operatively with affected home-owners, who are dealing with a variety of situations and circumstances.

“As a result of this action, as at January this year, the list of properties with outstanding rates arrears has been reduced by 211 with outstanding arrears now $698,294,” Cr Thompson said.

“Today council resolved to take action so the community would not be required to bear the burden of any long-term rates debts,” he said.

Council is now commencing procedures under Part 12 Division 3 of the Local Government Regulation 2012 to recover outstanding rates and charges by way of sale of land for all properties, with overdue rates for a period greater than three years as at 31 March 2013 with the exception of eligible pensioners and owner occupiers without a mortgage.

A public auction for that purpose will be concluded no later than 30 November 2013.