Millions owed in overdue rates across Perth
PERTH ratepayers owed local councils more than $60 million in unpaid rates at the end of the 2017-18 financial year.
A special investigation by Community News reporters revealed overdue rates bills varied from council to council.
City of Swan ratepayers were the worst at paying off their bills in the last financial year, with almost $10m owed at June 30.
Stirling ranked fifth, with ratepayers owing $4,674,278.
Wanneroo came in second with $8,745,555, just over 3 per cent of the total rates levied.
The City of Rockingham ($5,831,119), Gosnells ($4,680,514) and Melville ($4,199,085) all had totals owed to them over the $4m mark.
Bassendean, Joondalup, Subiaco, Vincent and East Fremantle were owed the least.
However, some of these local government areas are significantly smaller in size.
Under the Local Government Act 1995, a council is able to take possession of a property if rates are left unpaid for three or more years.
The Shire of Gingin was owed just over $900,000 in overdue rates, but $800,000 of this was owed by a single debtor.
The Shire has begun legal action to auction off 47 lots to recover the overdue rates.
All councils allow ratepayers to submit payment plans to help those struggling to pay off their bills.
A deferral of rates is also available for pensioners.