Local Government Ministry boosts rate collection efforts

February 23, 2024 6:35 am

Permanent Secretary Seema Sharma.

The Ministry of Local Government has recently intensified its strategies for rate collection, with over $70 million owed by ratepayers across 13 municipalities.

Permanent Secretary Seema Sharma reveals that some ratepayers consistently delay payments, especially absent landlords who live overseas or are away for long periods.

Sharma says municipalities are focusing on rate profiling and house-to-house collections.

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“You can’t just be complacent and sitting back, waiting for a rate. So that’s why the councils have since last year improved the means of doing this things, in terms of creating more awareness.”

Sharma stresses the importance of timely payments for maintaining municipal services and development.

Labasa Town Council’s Acting CEO Mohammed Faiz Ali is expressing concern over unpaid rates exceeding a million dollars.

“It’s a problem not only for Labasa but I think throughout Fiji. All councils are facing the same issue. There were a lot of incentives given to ratepayers to settle their town rates, but some did not pay. It’s a big issue.”

The Ministry remains committed to efficient revenue collection as this fosters sustained community development and progress.