SUNCITY

Council Bags $15.2m In Rates

The Suva City Council collected 78 per cent of its rate arrears last year. This was confirmed yesterday by the council’s chief executive officer, Bijay Chand. “Out of all the
27 Jan 2015 17:08
Council Bags $15.2m In Rates
Chandu Umaria

The Suva City Council collected 78 per cent of its rate arrears last year.

This was confirmed yesterday by the council’s chief executive officer, Bijay Chand.

“Out of all the $19.4 million rates that we recorded last year we managed to collect 78 per cent of it,” Mr Chand said.

The council was able to collect more than $15m.

Suva City Council special administrator Chandu Umaria said this was made possible through incentives implemented by the council and installment payments by the rate payers.

“The population of Suva is about 80,000 to 90,000 but there are only 12,000 rate payers,” Mr Umaria said.

“These 12,000 are subsidising for the 90,000. The rates that we collect are used for picking up the rubbish, fixing the roads, the parks and gardens, the street lights and the salaries and wages for me and all my staff and all other expenses for our depot.”

Meanwhile, Mr Umaria believes harsher penalties must be implemented for rate payers who fail to pay up.

This is largely because of the many rate payers who had outstanding arrears dating back at least 20 to 30.

“Like I said the present restrictions that we have are too soft.

“If you cannot pay rates, how do you expect us to deliver our services? We cannot provide all our services, everyone needs to pay rate,” he said.

“We cannot disconnect our services but one of my suggestions that we take it to the government and we have a travel ban for the ratepayers.

“A lot of people are travelling overseas but are not paying their rates so this is one way that will encourage the ratepayers to pay their rates.”

Feedback: aqela.susu@fijisun.com.fj

 

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