Ellenbrook residents owe $2 million in unpaid rates

Stock image.
Stock image.

ELLENBROOK ratepayers owe more than $2 million in outstanding rates according to the latest City of Swan figures.

The next highest outstanding rates balances as at June 30, 2018 are Ballajura ($1.1m), Bullsbrook ($500,000), Beechboro ($400,000) and Midland ($400,000).

City chief executive Mike Foley said outstanding rates were higher than usual with $9.8m owned across the local government area.

“Increasing debtors can certainly affect the amount of cash available to the City,” he said.

“If the number of rates-based debtors were to increase exponentially for a sustained long-term period, this could have an adverse impact on the City’s cash flow which would ultimately have an adverse effect on our ability to deliver services and capital works.”

Under the Local Government Act 1995, a council is able to take possession of a property if the rates are left unpaid for three or more years however Mr Foley said the City had not sold any properties over the past 10 years.

“The City will always in the first instance attempt to resolve outstanding balances through various payment arrangements that are available to ratepayers,” he said.

“If no contact or arrangement has been made by a ratepayer, the City will issue a final notice. “Once all attempts to collect the debt have been exhausted, the City will refer debt to the debt collection agency.

“The sale of properties has not eventuated due to either payment in full or payment arrangement being made prior to the sale of the property.”