Unpaid rates bill adding up
PERTH ratepayers owed local councils more than $60 million in unpaid rates bills at the end of the 201718 financial year.
A special investigation by Community News reporters showed overdue rates bills varied from council to council, with the cities of South Perth, Belmont and Kalamunda, and the Town of Victoria Park ranked in the top 22.
The four local government areas collectively had more than $5.4 million owing in outstanding rates as of June 30, 2018.
City of South Perth ratepayers were the worst at paying off their bills in the past financial year, with about $2m owed, including deferred rates and charges.
South Perth chief executive Geoff Glass said uncollected rates affected the available cash reserves, which could have some bearing on how long a project would take, asset acquisition and maintenance.
Mr Glass said the City understood that sometimes people experienced financial hardship, which made it difficult to meet all financial commitments when they were due, and the City worked with ratepayers to develop a mutually acceptable payment arrangement.
City of Kalamunda followed South Perth with more than $1.8m owed, of which $584,269 were deferred rates, meaning that while this amount was still owed to the City, pensioners had elected to defer payment until the next time the property was sold.
Victoria Park chief executive Anthony Vuleta said the Town had $894,000 in outstanding fees, which excluded rates recently levied.
While the amount owed was “large”, Mr Vuleta said there was little to no impact on the Town and the services it provided.
“However, once all attempts are made to have a ratepayer pay their rates, then legal action will occur,” he said.
The City of Belmont had the lowest amount out of the four councils owing, with $721,995.