Second time ‘lucky’ for rates notices

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A PRINTING bungle will see Frankston ratepayers receive a replacement 2018-19 rate notice in coming days.

Frankston Council blamed a contractor for rates notices being issued with an incorrect address and assessment reference number on the back of rates notices.

Council said the contractor will reissue corrected replacement notices to all Frankston ratepayers even though the barcode on the front to make payment scans correctly.

“Council’s customer-facing staff were quickly armed with the information and processes they needed to assist ratepayers, and initial reconciliations of rate payments to date indicate there has been minimal negative impact,” mayor Cr Colin Hampton said.

“Our skilled staff have been ensuring any incorrect payments are identified and redirected to the correct account.”

The printing bungle comes as several ratepayers question why their individual rates bill has risen by more than the 2.25 per cent state government mandated rate rise cap.

The rate cap, dubbed “A Fair Go” rates system by the Labor state government, applies to the total rates revenue council is able to collect and not individual cases.

Frankston municipality properties were revalued last year by an independent contractor.

Council said properties were previously valued for rates purposes in January 2016 and the average capital improved value (CIV) of properties across Frankston is 41.61 per cent, up as much as 60 per cent in some areas.

Property values determine how much rates residents pay.

Council said the Victorian Information Commissioner has been notified about the rates printing error.

Payments made using the existing rates notices first issued will be allocated to the correct account.

Information on the second batch of rates notices issued within the next fortnight will include “supporting information to ensure ratepayers have a clear understanding as to why they are receiving the replacement notice”, according to council.

First published in the Frankston Times – 13 August 2018

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