Council will auction 78 local properties in a bid to reclaim more than a million dollars in unpaid rates.
Tamworth Regional Council General Manager Paul Bennett said council was permitted under the Local Government Act to sell property and recover outstanding rates and charges which have remained unpaid for more than five years.
“Every effort has been made over a number of years to encourage settlement of these debts, but we now find there are a significant number of properties eligible to be sold,” Mr Bennet said.
“Council has followed all provisions of the Act in an attempt to give owners every chance to make arrangements to pay their debts including four rates notices and instalments and numerous reminder notices every year for five years, debt recovery action letters and summonses.”
The highest amount of outstanding rates is $38,007.51 for land in East Tamworth, while the lowest amount is $2,626.32 for a rural block at Gowrie.
The properties intended for auction include seven business properties at Tamworth, Barraba and Woodsreef, 26 farmland properties across the region and 46 residential properties at Tamworth, Barraba, Bendemeer, Kootingal, Manilla, Somerton, Woolomin and other locations.
Three of the farmland properties and 14 of the residential properties are currently occupied.
Councillors voted in favour of auctioning the properties in a closed meeting.
Council will write to owners a final time and advise them how to prevent the sales.
Mr Bennett said council has always tried to work with ratepayers to develop payment arrangements which take their individual circumstances into consideration.
“We urged them to contact council to discuss the matter and commit to payment arrangements,” Mr Bennett said.
“A number did and some accessed our Ratepayers Hardship Policy.”
The properties will then be advertised in the NSW Government Gazette.
Auctions will be held at Barraba, Manilla and Tamworth in September and October.
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