Council wants to sell 72 properties to recoup $1.5M in unpaid rates.
“The proposed process is the last resort after all other debt recovery actions have been exhausted for the identified properties,” a report to the April 26 Council-under-Administration meeting states.
“Debt recovery actions undertaken to date have met with limited success due to issues such as:
• Unsuccessful legal action
• Owners have not been able to be located either following legal action and unsuccessful searches for the owner
• Unresolved issues related to deceased estates. “
Council says that for the proposed process, there are currently:
# 11 vacant land properties ($0.2M),
# 56 residential properties ($1.2M) and
# 5 commercial properties ($0.1M).
Of the 56 residential properties, 37 are owner occupied.
“The number of properties and associated outstanding amounts will continue to vary until the date of sale of the properties as ratepayers respond to the ongoing debt recovery actions,” the report states.
The report doesn’t say how much money council expects to raise from the sales but the relevant legislation says the rest of the money from the sale goes to the owners of the property or into a trust fund if they can’t be found.
The report says the action will:
Resolve long standing and growing debts, including:
o Unresolved estates
o Absentee owners
o Chronic delinquent payers.
o Land slivers, road re-alignments and conveyancing omissions.