Rebels to crack under auctioneer's hammer

TEN owners who have collectively defaulted on more than $110,000 in unpaid rates will have their properties sold at public auction as Bundaberg Regional Council scrambles to recover the costs.

The total of 13 properties, which are in default for amounts ranging from nearly $1500 to $3900, will be put under the hammer on October 22 at Bundaberg Civic Centre unless the owners come up with the arrears.

Bundaberg Regional Councillor Greg Barnes said the sales were a last resort for council, after the rates went unpaid for more than three years.

He said people who skipped out on paying their bills caused undue pressure on ratepayers who did the right thing.

“Selling someone's property is the last thing we want to do but we have an obligation to ratepayers under the local government legislation to recover the money,” Cr Barnes said.

“A lot of people don't think it will get that far (for the properties to be sold), but it does happen.

“Sometimes rates go unpaid because the owners have split up and they might be arguing over whose right it is to pay, or sometimes they have gone overseas.

“But if people are having problems paying their rates, they should contact council as soon as they know - the worst thing is to ignore it.”

Cr Barnes said the council would set a reserve price for the properties to ensure costs were covered.

“Once the rates and costs for selling the house have been taken out, the rest goes to the owner,” Cr Barnes said.

“All we are interested in is recovering our rates.”



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