Late rates add up

Joondalup Times - - FRONT PAGE - Lucy Jarvis

MORE than $8.7 mil­lion is owed by about 3 per cent of home­own­ers in the City of Wan­neroo for rates due more than a year ago.

City of Wan­neroo cor­po­rate strat­egy and per­for­mance di­rec­tor Noe­lene Jen­nings said 3.03 per cent of house­hold rates no­tices for 2017-18 were out­stand­ing, equat­ing to more than


“The City re­cov­ers out­stand­ing rates by is­su­ing a fi­nal no­tice two weeks af­ter the due date,” she said.

“If pay­ment is not re­ceived or no re­pay­ment ar­range­ment is en­tered into, an ex­ter­nal debt re­cov­ery agent is en­gaged to re­cover the debt.

“The City ap­plies a latepay­ment in­ter­est rate of

8.45 per cent on out­stand­ing gen­eral rates (and) the State Gov­ern­ment ap­plies a late-pay­ment in­ter­est rate of 11 per cent on the Emer­gency Ser­vices Levy.

“The City has taken pos­ses­sion of two prop­er­ties in the past decade; in both of these cases, the prop­er­ties were de­ceased es­tates, with own­ers dy­ing in­tes­tate and the prop­er­ties aban­doned.”

The City sent fi­nal no­tices for the un­paid 2018-19 rates on Septem­ber 25.

A spe­cial in­ves­ti­ga­tion by Com­mu­nity News re­porters showed over­due rates bills var­ied from coun­cil to coun­cil, with more than $60m owed.

City of Swan ratepay­ers were the worst at pay­ing off their bills in the pre­vi­ous fi­nan­cial year, with al­most

$10m owed at June 30. Wan­neroo came in sec­ond, then Rock­ing­ham on

$5.83m, Gos­nells on $4.68m, Stir­ling on $4.67m and Melville on $4.2m.

City of Joon­dalup ratepay­ers had one of the low­est amounts, to­talling

$430,933 from 473 prop­er­ties, as at Oc­to­ber 9.

The City charges in­ter­est on over­due amounts ac­crued daily at 11 per cent a year. Pen­sion­ers or se­niors are ex­empt from those charges.

The City of Joon­dalup has not taken pos­ses­sion of, and sold, any prop­er­ties in the past decade.

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