Attempts to collect more than $21,600 in unpaid rates on three Te Awamutu properties could land the mortgage-free Waipā landowner in court.
Finance manager Jolanda Hechter told the Finance and Corporate committee this week staff had tried everything to get the ratepayer to pay.
“This is our very last resort to recover the funds,” she told the committee.
“It is council staff’s hope that working our way through the process will provide indication to the ratepayer that council is serious about collection, and that this will result in payment.”
Chair Andrew Brown said collecting the outstanding rates would make a “big hole” in the council’s outstanding rates bill from previous years of $95,000.
Making the situation even tougher for the council to collect the money is the properties are all mortgage free which means there is no lender to recover the outstanding rates from.
There are three key legislative tools available to the council to recover the $21,661.38.
They are to impose penalties, recover from a first mortgage or through the courts.
Court is the only option for the council if debt collecting fails over the next three months.
The council can apply to a Registrar of the High Court to have a judgement enforced by the sale of the rating unit.
There have been no rates paid on the first property since July 15, 2019, when ownership changed hands, and as of December 31, $8153 was outstanding and a further $1359 in water payments owing.
The most recent payment on the second property was on March 12, 2020. There the totals owed are $7376 and $1075.
The owner has owned property three since April 2005 and last paid rates on May 3, 2019. On that the outstanding sums are $6131 in rates and $291 in water payments.