Refund for huge rates rise

Headshot of Michael Philipps
Michael PhilippsSouth Western Times
Dardanup shire president Mick Bennett is happy with the council’s decision to offer a rate refund to J&P Corporation.
Camera IconDardanup shire president Mick Bennett is happy with the council’s decision to offer a rate refund to J&P Corporation. Credit: Aaron Corlett

Dardanup shire councillors have voted to pay a refund of $17,283.75 to a company after it received a rates rise of more than 2000 per cent.

According to the council’s agenda, J&P Corporation was notified by a letter from the council in 2017 of the intention to change the land’s valuation from unimproved value to gross rental value.

The letter advised the company to expect an increase in rates to about $140,000 based on current gross rental value supplied by Landgate.

According to the agenda, the company paid rates of $6663.81 for the 2016-17 financial year, which increased to $138,334.26 for 2017-18 and rose again to $157,283.75 for the 2018-19 financial year.

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Councillors voted against the officer-recommended solution not to grant a rates concession or write off rates levied for the 2017-18 or 2018-19 as a result of the change of land valuation.

Cr Tyrrell Gardiner then proposed to offer the company a one-off refund of $17,283.75 for the 2018-19 financial year, which was passed 6-2.

Dardanup shire president Mick Bennett said the refund would bring the rates back to the $140,000 proposed in the original letter to the company.

“What council decided to give them was the difference between the $157,283.75 and the $140,000 originally quoted to them,” he said.

“Council decided because of the massive increase and the fact that we had not quite calculated it out the same as the valuer general, then council felt that we should give them the rate refund in good faith.

“In reality their rates had risen by more than 2000 per cent, which we did warn them about, so we felt it was fair for us to offer them that refund.”

Cr Bennett said he did not think the decision would create a precedent for other companies in the future.

“This was a once-off decision and the company is well aware of that,” he said.

“All credit to J&P Corporation as they went through all the proper processes and have worked well with council and our officers.

“They took their time and didn’t get upset or anything like that as they just wanted to work through the situation with us.

“I think that council has been very fair in its decision.”

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