Mil­lions owed in over­due rates across Perth

Stirling Times - - News - David Johns

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.

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