Council to reluctantly auction properties for unpaid rates

Kempsey Shire Council

Macleay River at Kempsey.JPG

After years of failure to pay, and numerous attempts at negotiation and resolution, 23 properties are set to be put up for forced auction on Tuesday 29 November for unpaid rates.

In August Kempsey Shire Council posted notice of a resolution that 27 properties would be sold at public auction by Kempsey Stock and Land as they were in default of payment.

The majority of these properties are vacant blocks of land with only 6 containing buildings.

The amounts owing on the properties ranged from $3,347.66 to $40,340.92, for rates stretching back more than a decade.

Council and their agents have made repeated efforts to contact the owners of the properties to attempt to reach an agreement on payments. Since the original notice, four properties have been removed from the auction following payment and further negotiation with the relevant owners.

Kempsey Shire Council Director Corporate and Commercial, Stephen Mitchell, said that this decision was not taken lightly and only pursued after other options were exhausted.

“We don’t want to take this step, it’s an option of last resort for us, but sometimes when ratepayers haven’t paid their rates it’s the process we need to pursue,” said Mr Mitchell.

“This is the first time we’ve taken this step in ten years. We go through an extensive process to try and find a solution. All ratepayers are notified of their outstanding rates regularly and we have and will always try and negotiate with the owners.”

Such a sale is strictly regulated by the NSW Government under s713 of the Local Government Act which permits councils to sell properties with outstanding rates balances.

Council remains hopeful that the property owners in question will work with staff and pay their outstanding rates but will otherwise reluctantly go to auction.

“Council can only wear the financial burden for so long, before it begins to have an impact on other ratepayers and residents,” said Mr Mitchell.

“We will work until the day of the auction but we have to be fair to all of our ratepayers.”

The properties will be offered for sale by public auction by Kempsey Stock and Land Pty Ltd, at 11am on Tuesday 29 November at Kempsey Macleay RSL Club, 1 York Lane, Kempsey NSW 2440.

For details read Council’s notice at Sale of Properties for Unpaid Rates

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