Council: Rates backdating was none of our doing
A COUNCIL spokeswoman has quoted a section from the Local Government Regulation Act stating why supplementary rates notices were sent out to some residents.
"Unfortunately council is required under Section 111 of the Local Government Regulation 2012 to send out supplementary rates notices for changes in value of properties," she said.
"It states 'if the value of the land changes under the Land Value Act, the local government must adjust the rates so that the rates are calculated on the new value of the land for the period that starts on the day the change takes effect under that act'.
"The legislation not only forces council to apply the adjusted valuation, it also requires council to back date the valuation to the date the valuation took effect, August 14, 2012."
The spokeswoman said that to stop these charges it would take a change in state legislation.
When the Daily News asked council why they didn't consult residents previously to sending out the response was simply "council has no part in valuation of properties".
"The Department of Natural Resources and Mines values properties and sent out the valuation notification to property owners explaining the new valuations," the spokeswoman said.
"Council sent out a letter with the supplementary notice requesting ratepayers contact the valuers at DNR&M to discuss the reason why the change in valuation occurred."
North Warwick resident Sarah Martin said she could understand valuations change, but was not happy with the tone of the letter from the council.
"After forking out thousands of dollars for my rates a few weeks ago I get a notice to say I am in arrears," she said.
"And what annoyed me further was the fact they said interest would be compounded at 11% and would continue to accrue from the date of notice.
"The back-pay is just outrageous - if the valuation changes and it's only been handed to council now, too bad - I'll pay the higher rates from now, not two years ago."
Another Rosenthal Heights resident unimpressed with council, Ken Wiggan, couldn't believe the threatening letter.
"It's just wrong," he said.
"They are money-grabbing.
"What extra services do we get from council for paying this extra money? Nothing."