Seventeen properties are set to go under the hammer in March, 2018 as the Bogan Shire Council seeks to reclaim $139,411.96 in unpaid rates.
In it's November council meeting, councillors reviewed a list of properties which were eligible for sale for unpaid rates under section 713 of the Local Government Act.
It was resolved to value and auction the listed properties for unpaid rates on March 16, 2018.
“No one likes selling property, it’s just a last resort in a process of trying to reclaim rates,” general manager Derek Francis said.
“I think people understand that there are people who pay their rates, and there are people who don’t and it’s not fair on those people who do.”
The unpaid rates include $55,093.42 (including charges) that has been overdue for more than five years.
The largest single amount owing on any property is $20,197.85, while the smallest amount owed is $2524.65.
There are people who pay their rates, and there are people who don’t and it’s not fair on those people who do.Derek Francis
There are more properties the council could sell for unpaid rates, but write-offs on these parcels and changes to rating categories meant more investigation was required before the properties could be sold. The council opted to report those properties on a later date, rather than delaying the current sale.
In an unusual move, the council has indicated a willingness to purchase some properties itself, depending on value, if it is unable to sell them.
General manager Derek Francis said the move was unusual, but not unheard of.
“At the end of the day it is a last resort for councils to sell those properties,” Mr Francis said.
“Some of those are in the villages and we’re not sure if there’ll be much interest in them.
“Obviously our preference is for someone to purchase them and use them and pay the rates on an ongoing basis.
“Some of them could be used for open space to add to the parks in those areas, but even if that wasn’t the case, it at least removes the ongoing debt from council’s books.”