The number of property owners not paying their rates instalments on time is on the rise. Penalties for late payment were issued for 1059 properties for the instalment due in October.
Group Manager Business Support, Paul Brake, says this is higher than usual and he is urging residents to make sure their rates payments are sent in by the due date.
"We are concerned residents are getting penalties through failing to make sure the bills are received by Council on time rather than an inability to pay."
Late rates payments attract a 10 percent penalty which is set by statute. Penalty amounts for the latest instalment ranged from 51 cents to more than $500, with total penalties issued for the instalment being over $36,000.
The Council changed its policy on remitting rates penalties this year in an effort to reduce late payments. Residents now can have just one penalty remitted every 5 years.
Mr Brake says the new policy is likely to catch some people out who have been used to having penalties remitted more frequently.
"You could argue our previous approach was pretty lenient and some residents were clearly taking advantage of that."
Mr Brake says the best way to avoid penalties is to have a direct debit payment in place.
"A direct debit means you can make payments weekly, fortnightly or monthly if you wish and the payment amount is automatically adjusted if your rates change," he said.
The Council's new online rates payment option through the Council website is also proving popular.
Mr Brake says if residents are having trouble meeting their rates payments they should contact the Council to discuss the best payment approach.
"We can work with residents who are genuinely having difficulty paying their rates but it is important they come and see us early on before the penalties have started to really add up."
Click here for information on rates payment options.