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Concerns over local government's ability to enforce rate payments

One authority claimed their hands were 'tied'

How much do you pay in rates each year?

Most people will have an answer to that question - but it's not always the case for some who actively choose not to pay.

However, concerns are being raised after it was found local authorities that are serviced by treasury, have no way to enforce rate payments themselves, from those who refuse.

Rates are a form of taxation that allows local government to provide services to the community.  These can be in the form of refuse collection all the way to water and sewerage services.  They're a vital part of allowing local authorities to keep the local area clean and tidy for residents.

Only three Commissioners offices are able to collect rate payments directly from those living within their respective jurisdictions.  The others are serviced by the Isle of Man Treasury, who collect them on their behalf.

However, local authorities in the south of the Island have reportedly claimed their hands are tied and are at the mercy of treasury to collect outstanding rate payments - but are not able to chase down payments themselves.

For other local authorities like Douglas, Braddan and Onchan - they receive the money directly and are responsible for ensuring all those who should pay, do so.

Deputy Clerk of Braddan Commissioners, Moira Radcliffe explains what procedures they take for those who fail to comply:

Meanwhile, Ross Philips who's the Chief Executive of Onchan Commissioners says options are available for those who may be struggling to pay rates on top of everything else given the rising cost of living.

It's understood that local authorities choose to opt into being serviced by treasury, so could reclaim the ability and complete the work themselves.  But, what could treasury do to empower local authorities whose hands are otherwise seemingly tied?

Manx Radio put these findings to Treasury Minister Alex Allinson:

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