Perth ratepayers owe local councils more than $60m in overdue rates

Stock image.
Stock image.

PERTH ratepayers owed local councils more than $60 million in unpaid rates bills 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 $10 million owed at June 30, 2018.

Wanneroo came in second with $8,745,555 – just over three per cent of the total rates levied.

Rockingham ($5,831,119), Gosnells ($4,680,514), Stirling ($4,674,278) and Melville ($4,199,085) all had totals owed to them over the $4 million 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 one 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, while deferrals for pensioners are also available.

SUBURBUNPAID RATES
Swan$9,800,000
Wanneroo$8,745,555
Rockingham$5,383,119
Gosnells$4,680,514
Stirling$4,674,278
Melville$4,199,085
Kwinana$3,590,000
Cockburn$3,250,000
Mandurah$2,943,000
Canning$2,810,003
Armadale$2,074,618
South Perth$2,000,000
Northam$1,996,581
Serpentine Jarrahdale$1,860,810
Kalamunda$1,804,232
Murray$1,729,880
Bayswater$1,500,000
Mundaring$1,200,000
Fremantle$922,426
Gingin$909,257
Vic Park$894,000
Nedlands$860,904
Belmont$721,995
Bassendean$600,000
Joondalup$430,933
Subiaco$393,000
Vincent$368,485
East Fremantle$191,475