Morley charity to appeal decision denying it rates exemption

Morley charity to appeal decision denying it rates exemption

A MORLEY-based charity intends to make an appeal to the City of Bayswater after losing its bid for a rates exemption of more than $9000 a year.

Councillors at the September 12 meeting rejected the Multicultural Services Centre of WA Inc’s application for rates exemption at 5 Bookham Street, Morley, in accordance with the Local Government Act 1995.

According to an officer’s report, the Act said “land used exclusively for charitable purposes” was not rateable because the term “charitable purposes” was not defined and it was up to the council to interpret and apply the legislation.

The report said the centre received income under the Home and Community Care program and leasing agreements for other areas of the property.

The Charities Act 2013 defines a charity as an entity that is not-for-profit and the purpose of the entity is for public benefit.

Multicultural Services Centre of WA Inc executive director Ramdas Sankaran said the centre would not comment on the matter until the council gave it reasons why the application was not approved.

Mr Sankaran said the council had been very supportive to date and the decision was very surprising.

“We intend to appeal the decision to the City of Bayswater in the first instance,” he said.

“Hopefully the incoming council might view the issue differently, given that what we have sought is no different to what we have sought and obtained from other councils in Perth and Bunbury.”

Councillor Sally Palmer, who voted against the motion, said the charity was very important to the community.

“If Unicef get money over to them, it is used for charitable purposes,” she said.

“It is a laughing stock to say the centre is not achieving charitable purposes.”

Cr Dan Bull said parts of the Act needed to be changed as part of the State Government’s review.

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