An initial penalty of 2% on any payment for rates that is received after the due date (applied in accordance with the Local Government Act).
A further penalty at the prescribed interest rate is added to any unpaid rates at the end of each month they continue to be unpaid. (The prescribed rate for 2013/2014 is 8.5% p.a.)
If rates remain unpaid more than 21 days after the issue of a final notice, the debt is referred to a collection agency (this process incurs additional costs to the ratepayer).
When a payment is received, the money is distributed in the following order:
in payment of rates, in chronological order (starting with the oldest rate account).
The Local Government Act allows a Council to sell any property where rates have been in arrears for three years or more.
Explore the SA Government Link below for ideas, tips and budgeting tools designed to assist your household in managing its cost of living: