Moira Shire’s 17,000 plus rate notices will be reissued after a calculation error creating a shortfall of more than $500,000 in revenue was discovered last week.FIONA BLICK August 26, 2014 3:45pm
The error was believed to have been made with the Capital Improved Value (CIV) numbers, which are used to determine the budgeted 5.5% rate rise; instead of using the 2013/14 figure, the 2012/13 figure was used, meaning rates rose by only 2.5%.
This error was not picked up by Moira Shire finance or accounting staff, it was instead noticed by Koonoomoo rate payer Scott Olsen, a grain marketing manager, who spoke with the Yarrawonga Chronicle directly after he notified Finance Manager Warren Brown of his discovery last Thursday.
“I received my rate notice on Wednesday and like all bills, I went through it to make sure it was correct,” Mr Olsen told the Chronicle.
“I noticed that different figures were used on the rate notice to what had been indicated in the approved 2014/15 budget, so I contacted Moira Shire immediately and left a message for Mr Brown to phone me.”
Mr Olsen said Mr Brown returned his phone call the next morning with Mr Olsen asking for an explanation as to why his rates had only risen by 2.5% and not the budgeted 5.5%.
“At first Mr Brown said everything was correct but then on closer inspection he acknowledged there may indeed be a problem and he would look into it,” Mr Olsen said.
“I think the key point here is that Moira Shire did not pick up on this error internally.
“How much is this mistake going to cost rate payers?
“This is a pinnacle example of why Moira Shire needs a probity audit.”
Mayor Peter Mansfield played down the rates mistake calling it an “administration problem”.
“I was notified Thursday afternoon about this issue,” Cr Mansfield said.
“Staff are looking into it and the bottom line is the rate notices, I believe, will have to be reissued.”
Cr Mansfield said Moira Shire CEO Mark Henderson will be investigating how this mistake occurred.
“Mr Henderson will give councillors a full report when the investigation is complete but until then I can’t comment on possible ramifications,” he said.
In a statement released to the media last Friday, Mr Henderson apologised “unreservedly for the mistake and the confusion caused by this incident”.
“We will undertake a comprehensive review of our processes, but right now our priority is to address the confusion we have caused for our customers,” Mr Henderson said.
“We are currently working through the system and printing requirements with our providers and once the arrangements are confirmed we can advise of the timelines for mailing the more than 17,000 revised notices.
“In recognition of this inconvenience and delay, we are extending the due date for payments due by September 30 to October 30, 2014.”
He said however, Moira Shire Council was unable to delay the direct debit payment scheduled for next week for customers on the ten instalment plan.
“Your revised rate notice will include adjustments to your remaining instalments,” Mr Henderson said.
“All the other charges including the municipal charge, environmental levy, garbage and recycling services and the fire services levy were correct and will not change.”
The community of Girgarre is ready to realise its musical dreams after receiving a $350 000 Victoria Government Small Town Transformation grant.
Three Yarrawonga footballers have excelled at interleague level, representing the Ovens and Murray against Hampden in Warrnambool on Saturday.
The Aboriginal and wider community is mourning the death of revered Bangerang Aboriginal elder, Uncle John ‘‘Sandy’’ Atkinson.
CERES will be moving to a new rhythm on June 10 when Melbourne’s Andrew Swift is joined by the Weeping Willows for a series of performances.
THE Corop Cemetery Trust volunteers are grateful for the volunteer-work from a regional vineyard.
Kyabram Football Club will host a family day next weekend.
Where there’s a Will, there’s a way
Berrigan Shire councillor Daryll Morris says he has been sickened by some of the vitriol and personal attacks to surface since the council’s proposal to redevelop Finley’s Memorial Hall and School of Arts site was revealed in October last year.
RENEWAL works have resumed on the Coliban Main Channel this month.
For most 10-year-olds, mischievous isn’t a word often found in their vocabulary, let alone having the ability to spell it correctly. But for Cobram Anglican Grammar Year 5 student Cadence Pang, it’s all in a day’s work.
Local owners stoked with horses success.
A Melbourne academic has some tough things to say about dairy, and Country News editor, Geoff Adams has a few responses.
The News magazines are online - read high quality magazines in your time. Check in regularly for the latest editions.
Riverine Herald's well regarded locally produced magazines. They're now online, so you can read them whenever and wherever you like.
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.