SBRC write-off over $300K in unpaid rates charges
AT THE general meeting held on Wednesday, South Burnett Regional Council resolved to approve a write-off to the value of $306,047.87 in unpaid rates and interest charges, a decision which could see implications made to council’s budget down the line.
They also agreed to write-off an additional $2250.47 in overgrown allotment charges that were not cleared by the proceeds of the rates auction.
Bringing the total write-off value to $308,298.34.
The sale of 17 properties did result in a recovery of a further $288,568 in rate revenue.
In line with Council’s Rates Collection Policy, rates staff conducted a review of properties with overdue rates to establish which properties had three or more year’s overdue rates.
Final notices were issued in December 2018 to the identified property owners requesting payment in full or alternatively to enter into an approved payment arrangement before February 28, 2019.
A report and resolution to commence the sale of land process was presented and adopted by Council at the meeting held on March 20 this year.
This resulted in 36 formal notices of intention to sell being prepared and posted to ratepayers at the end of April 2019.
The notice stipulated property owners had a maximum period of six months in which to pay the rates in full or SBRC would sell their property at public auction.
19 properties either paid their rates in full by themselves or through their mortgagees or entered into a satisfactory arrangement to pay off the debt, approved by chief executive officer Mark Pitt.
17 properties were subsequently offered for sale at the public auction held on November 19 2019 at the Kingaroy Town Hall Reception Room.
Approximately 30 bidders registered for the auction, which once again was managed by a local real estate company.
Council engaged valuers to provide current market valuations for each of the land parcels offered at auction.
In nearly all cases, the current market value was assessed as being lower than the unimproved/site valuation provided by the Department of Natural Resources Mines and Energy.
As a result, SBRC adopted these market valuations as the Reserve Price for each land parcel. This provides council with a level of protection should any land parcels not “sell” and Council becomes the new owner.
When this situation occurs, SBRC must pay the previous owner the “reserve” price less costs and outstanding rates and charges.
All 17 of the properties were bid on, however all were passed in as they did not reach the set “reserve”.
Council was then able to negotiate with the highest bidder.
Consequently, 15 higher offers were received resulting in “sales”.
Two properties were passed in and in accordance with the Local Government Regulation 2012, Council automatically became the owner of these properties.
While the write-off of the unpaid rates, interest and overgrown allotment charges does not affect Council’s overall bank account, it does lower the amount of revenue reported on the income statement, which has budget implications.
For further information regarding the write-off of unpaid rates and overgrown allotment charges please contact Council’s Finance section on 4189 9100 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.