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SA Council Rates - Interest Payable?

Discussion in 'Australian Consumer Law Forum' started by Les Laub, 6 May 2015.

  1. Les Laub

    Les Laub Well-Known Member

    30 May 2014
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    Last year I paid my council rates in full about five days after the due date (it was a long weekend and I was away for an extra day). Yesterday (9 months later) I received a 4th Quarter bill for $8.65. Since I paid the original amount in full I assumed the bill was a mistake. I have now been informed that the amount of $8.65 is the interest owing on the late payment.

    The question is this: Is it lawful for the Council to charge interest on overdue rates for such a short period, or to impose a penalty payment equivalent to the interest? Apart from being quite dopey to send a bill for $8.65, as it probably cost more to generate the bill than it raised.
  2. Ivy

    Ivy Well-Known Member

    10 February 2015
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    Hi Les,

    I cannot find anything in the Local Government Act 1999 which suggests that interest rates aren't allowed to be applied. From my quick reading of Chapter 10, it appears that councils have reasonably broad powers to set rates, rate variability etc. See:

    Local councils are allowed to charge interest on council rates in Victoria. I know that you're in SA but it does show precedent in other jurisdictions for applying interest to council rates.

    If you are still unsure, you can contact your local council and ask them which section and/or regulation of the Local Government Act 1999 gives them the power to charge interest on late payment of council rates.
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