Pay up or we will have to sell
HOME and land owners across the Fraser Coast are facing having their properties put up for auction next month because they can’t pay their rates.
The homes are at addresses from Aldershot, to Maryborough, Granville, Torbanlea, Scarness, Walligan, Urangan and Kingfisher Bay.
The blocks of land also criss-cross the region.
Council CEO Andrew Brien said yesterday that in October last year the council identified 218 properties which owed $2.7 million in outstanding rates.
“After contacting the ratepayers the council has been able to work out payment plans to reduce the number of properties on the list to 31 which owe $728,000 in outstanding rates,” Mr Brien said.
One of the lucky escapees from the September 8 sell-off at Maryborough’s Brolga Theatre is the popular Riverview Hotel in Tinana.
The owners managed to raise finance to pay off what the Chronicle believes is close to $100,000.
The sale is the first organised by the council and comes after a review of unpaid rates, some dating back 20 years.
“We found one property that owed $250,000 in rates and interest,” Mr Brien said.
“The review of unpaid rates is being undertaken annually to ensure ratepayers don’t get behind to a point where properties have to be sold.
“We would rather ratepayers came to us to work out a payment plan. Selling properties is a last resort.
“We expect more of the properties to drop off the list by September 8.”
Under the Local Government Act the council can take action to recover unpaid rates if the rates have not been paid for three years.
“Once the land is sold the council only retains the value of the outstanding rates and charges which go into running our operational and capital works budgets.”
“The level of unpaid rates is a factor taken into account when the council is considering its budget,” Mr Brien said.
“The money could have been invested in services and facilities.”