Council turns down rates waiver appeal on two blocks
A request to waive rates on two unwanted blocks of land in Mullewa was defeated at the City of Geraldton’s ordinary council meeting last week.
Robert Brooks, director of Brookmin, requested the waiver for Lot 24 and Lot 35 Short Street as they are unsaleable.
He is now in the process of applying to have land parcels returned to the Crown, where they will become exempt from rates.
The executive recommendation suggested waiving the rates during the process, noting if the application was unsuccessful, the lots would become rateable again.
But the motion was defeated 6-5, with Crs Michael Reymond, Steve Douglas, Simon Keemink, David Caudwell, Graeme Bylund and Mayor Shane Van Styn opposing the executive recommendation.
Cr Reymond said he was not in favour of the motion as it was a “waste of ratepayers’ money”.
“He’s bought the land, he’s responsible for the rates,” he said.
“It’s not appropriate for ratepayers to subsidise this because someone doesn’t want to pay the rates.”
Cr Caudwell said he was frustrated with how many exemptions the City was handing out. “We’re bleeding rates that we’re asking others to cover,” he said.
The value of the rates on the total properties for the 2017-18 financial year is $2020.
Cr Lewis Freer, who made the motion, urged the council to “see reason”.
“It’s a trivial item, it’s $2000 we’re arguing over,” he said.
“Yes, it does build up, but it’s not going away.”
Mr Brooks had previously offered to donate the blocks to the City, but the City declined as they would only be a cost burden.
The council has previously approved rate waivers for unwanted land in Pindar, Mullewa and Tenindewa during the application process of reverting to the Crown.
He’s bought the land, he’s responsible for the rates. It’s not appropriate for ratepayers to subsidise this because someone doesn’t want to pay the rates. Michael Reymond