Land sales to recoup unpaid rates
  • Tuesday 03 March 2009

Council will recover more than $2 million in unpaid rates and charges through the sale of properties at public auction if the recommendation of its Organisation Performance committee is endorsed at next week’s Ordinary Meeting.

Division 4 Councillor and Finance Portfolio holder Chris Thompson said that as at November 2008 there were 411 properties owing more than $3.556 million. The debts have been outstanding for more than three years and meet the ‘sale of land’ procedures outlined in the Local Government Act 1993.

“It is in the best interests of our community for Council to take action to recover these debts.

“Currently under the Local Government Act outstanding rates and charges attract interest of 11%. The current mortgage interest rates are substantially less than that.

“Over the last few months, Council has approached owners and mortgagees through letters, phone calls and personal interviews requesting payment of their outstanding rates.

“We have had some success with this approach, and the ‘sale of land’ list has been reduced by 189 properties and $1.486 million recovered.

“Properties owned by pensioners and owner occupied properties without a mortgage will avoid the public auction of their properties with their debts pursued through alternative methods.

“Council is also happy for ratepayers to enter into a payment plan with us to settle the outstanding monies over an agreed time.”

However, 222 properties remain on the ‘sale of land’ list, collectively owing council $2.070 million. Ten properties owing a combined $85,000 are located in the central area of the region, 95 properties owing $660,000 are in the south of the region, and 117 properties owing $1.325 million are in the northern region of the Sunshine Coast.

The properties comprise:

Commercial/industrial 10 properties $ 150,000
Residential – non owner occupied 88 properties $ 852,000
Residential – owner occupied 124 properties $1,068,000

Council’s Organisation Performance committee have recommended the sale of properties by public auction by 30 June 2009.