property taxes and rates etc

Pay your rates!!!!!!!

A long day at work after a long week, you stagger in the door, ready for a restful weekend. You open the mail and there’s a letter from Brisbane City Council. Curious, you open it immediately. The bold font screams at you:

“NOTICE OF INTENTION TO COMMENCE PROCEEDINGS AT A MAGISTRATE’S COURT”

The not so friendly letter says you haven’t paid your Council rates on a house in Holland Park, you owe $1025, and you are to appear in Court the following Wednesday to explain yourself.

But here’s the kicker – you don’t live in Holland Park and YOU DON’T OWN A HOUSE IN HOLLAND PARK!

This true story happened to a friend last week. He’s a smart guy and knew it wasn’t his debt to pay. But even he spent a good part of his weekend worrying about his credit rating and how to resolve the issue.

Monday he called BCC. “I don’t own a house in Holland Park”. “No problem”, came the reply, “It will be someone else with the same name. Throw the letter away.”

He rightly requested a letter confirming they’d made an error. Apparently BCC (or their debt collectors) use White Pages and the electoral roll to track non-payers. So, depending on how common your name might be, there’s a chance you’ll get one of these letters sometime too.

Surely with the extensive resources of government Council can save innocent residents from misguided strong-arm tactics like this one?

Got to feel for that bloke named John Smith.