By Esther Lauaki
Technical difficulties have been blamed for delays in the dispatch of council rates notices meaning Wyndham ratepayers have until the end of the month to pay their second instalment.
Hundreds of ratepayers receive late notices, issued on November 12, in the mail last week with payment due in as little as three days later on November 30.
But Wyndham council has said payments would be accepted until December 30 with no penalties.
Close to 400 residents took to social media pages last week dismayed about the short notice.
“When I rang them, I was told that rates are still due by November 30 but if paid late, it won’t go into arrears,” a resident wrote.
“It was [council’s] mistake that they had to reprint all of them, so we should get more time to pay.”
“We got ours a couple of days before the due date, which we thought was strange,” another posted to a Wyndham community page.
Wyndham resident Bro Sheffield-Brotherton called for improved communication from council.
“While I am grateful to those councillors endeavouring to keep ratepayers informed, this is bureaucratic mismanagement and putting up a notice on the council website or dealing with people when they ring up with concerns is inadequate,” Mr Sheffield-Brotherton said.
“I hope that due to this ‘technical issue’ with the printers, all ratepayers will be getting a notice from Council … in as urgent a fashion as can be organised.”
Council chief financial officer Binda Gokhale said residents had been notified on council’s website and had been sent letters.
“Due to a technical issue faced by our printing contractors, some of you may have received your second instalment rates notice later than usual,” a letter sent to ratepayers last week said.
“We apologise for the delay and we are currently addressing the issue with the contractor.”
Ms Gokhale advised that payment could be made by the end of this month without incurring any interest penalties to ensure that residents were not “disadvantaged”.
For information, contact Wyndham council rates department on 9742-0777.