MORE than $1.4million is owed to the Labasa Town Council by its residential and commercial ratepayers.
This was revealed to the Minister for Labour Jone Usamate during his official visit to the council yesterday.
In his presentation, council chief executive officer Jitendra Prasad said, "Of the 1379 ratepayers in Labasa, only 696 have fully paid their rate arrears as of this year.
"Most of the ratepayers have owed us arrears for the past six years and so far, we have been owed a total of $1,474,947," he said.
"Some pay off their arrears weekly while others pay it fortnightly as they work towards ridding their debts."
Mr Prasad said some ratepayers had answered to the law through the Small Claims Tribunal because of their debts.
"With this, people are making it an effort to pay in small amounts because they don't want to entangle themselves with the law.
"While there is no deadline given to ratepayers for the full payment of their arrears, we are glad they are slowly paying their debts," said Mr Prasad. Mr Usamate urged council workers to work together for the purpose of upgrading the northern town.