Rates Calculation Error Sees Ratepayers Over-Charged on Average $26 For the Year
Friday, 18 September, 2020 - 16:00
Mansfield Shire ratepayers have been over-charged on average $26 for their annual rates as Council this week discovered an error in its rates calculations.
Mansfield Shire CEO, Kaylene Conrick said while the property valuations shown on landholders’ rates notices are correct, the budget modelling was prepared using valuation data that excluded some of the supplementary valuations that occurred during 2019-20. This affected the calculation made to determine the cents/Capital Improved Value (CIV) rate applied to each property.
“We apologise unreservedly to our ratepayers for any inconvenience or financial distress caused by the error. We identified the issue through our annual reconciliation process. This has to be completed by 30 November as part of our monitoring and reporting to the Essential Services Commission (ESC). We are investigating how the incorrect property values came to be used and what changes are needed to our systems or processes to ensure this can’t happen again,” Ms Conrick said.
“We have corrected the calculation and Council will declare a new cents/CIV rate which will be applied from 1 July 2020 retrospectively,” she said.
Ms Conrick said Council will send all ratepayers a letter of apology and explain the error and the options for how Council will repay the money.
"For ratepayers that have not yet made a payment on their 2020-21 rate assessment, we ask that they wait until they receive their revised assessment notice before doing so. Ratepayers will not be charged interest for any first instalment payment made after 30 September 2020 until 31 December 2020," she said.
For landholders paying the Residential rate, the median amount over-charged was $23.62, for Rural Residential $30.54, for Farmland $36.01, Vacant Land $14.41 and Commercial $34.80.
“These figures are for the total rates bill, so where people have paid the first instalment, they have paid a quarter of these figures.
“We can refund the difference or, for those people who pay their rates in instalments, the adjustment can be made to their second instalment notice.
“However, some ratepayers pay in one lump sum and can request a refund for the over-charged amount,” she said.
The new cents/CIV ensures Council is compliant with the rate cap.