Maitland residents who pay their rates by direct debit can expect to receive a carbon tax credit in February seven months after the tax was repealed.
East Maitland’s Robert McBriarty was one of 1622 people who expected to receive a $29.45 credit on their November instalment.
The pensioner who lives in a unit expected to only pay $205.55 after the credit but still had $235 deducted from his bank account.
A Maitland City Council spokesman said the automatic direct debits are set at the beginning of each year explaining why the credit wasn’t applied despite the rates notice reading otherwise.
“This requires each direct debit to be manually adjusted,” he said.
“Unfortunately, this had not been adjusted by the time of the automatic direct debits for the November instalment.”
The carbon tax was included in the waste charges portion of the July rates notice since council faced a $1,465,170 bill from the federal government for the 2014-15 financial year.
The tax was soon after repealed.
Mr McBriarty said the glitch was poor timing since the special rate variation had just come into affect in July.
“Rates are a touchy subject at the moment,” he said.
“For some pensioners $29.45 isn’t a small amount.”
Mr McBriarty took the issue up with council and came to the Mercury when he felt they had not treated the matter with sufficient urgency.
“I thought I would do the right thing and call up [council],” he said.
“The girl I spoke to said they had received a few phone calls about it.”
Maitland is one of the few councils that has said it would refund the tax.
“A lot of the councils are refusing to refund it,” Mr McBriarty said.
“The bigger point of the story for me is why other councils are refusing to pay it.”
Many councils included the carbon tax in their waste services because their landfills produce methane gas which degrades the ozone layer.