New Council rates method hailed a success

Burdekin Shire Council’s new rates levying method has been hailed a resounding success with 87 per cent of residents paying the reduced bill by September 9.

Mayor Bill Lowis said it was pleasing to see such a positive response from ratepayers to the new levying method.

“Our hope was to reduce the burden on those who found it difficult, under the old discounted rates, to pay by the due date and it seems we have succeeded,” he said.

“The new scheme has been well supported by ratepayers as it provides them with more control on the final cost.

“Those who have opted to pay after the due date will incur 11 per cent interest on the amount left to pay, but in comparison to the old scheme, there will be less of a financial burden.

“It’s just like a credit card, the earlier it is paid the less it costs in the end.”

Cr Lowis said there were just 959 ratepayers who were yet to pay in full.

“Of that number, 102 ratepayers have made payment arrangements with Council for overdue rates,” he said.

“This is an excellent result.”

Cr Lowis said Council would soon begin sending reminders to ratepayers with overdue balances of more than $100.

“Overdue rates attract interest which is calculated daily and added to the account monthly, so it is wise to pay as much is as affordable as early as possible,” he said.

“If, by June 30 next year, no payment has been received to eliminate a debt of more than $1500, debt recovery procedures will begin.

“I would urge ratepayers who have not yet worked out a plan to pay off the rates to contact Council to discuss this.” 

The next annual rates issue is expected in early August 2014.

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