Council takes action on rates

EIGHT properties across the Bendigo region will be sold under the Local Government Act, after the owners failed to pay rates for three years. 

The properties in Bendigo, Heathcote, White Hills, Marong and Lockwood will be sold at auction unless the rates are paid in full by May 20. 

The City of Greater Bendigo says the decision to sell the properties was not taken lightly.

Organisational support director Marg Allan said the owners had received a court order last year to pay their rates. "Extensive efforts have been made to achieve a satisfactory payment arrangement with the owners," she said. 

If the properties are sold at auction, the rates owing to the council will be paid first. 

Properties marked for sale under act

Remaining funds will be put towards a mortgage, if there is one, or distributed to the owner. Ms Allan said if no owner could be found, the money would be held in trust by the council. 

The listed properties are: 120 Rowbothams Track, Heathcote; 7 and 9 Harvey Street, West Bendigo; 40 Victoria Hill Road, Heathcote; 63 Powers Road, Marong; 12 Kennewell Street, White Hills; 47A Smith Street, North Bendigo; and 51 Bradford Road, Lockwood. 

"The properties are not earmarked for any future development and the city has no plans to aquire the properties," Ms Allan said. 

She said the sale process formed part of the council's annual review of properties with large amounts of arrears in rates. 

The properties are valued and cannot be sold for less than the valued amount. 

"For some property owners, from time to time, paying rates can cause hardship," Ms Allan said. 

"The city endeavours to consult with these owners but occasionally a satisfactory result cannot be achieved."

For some owners... paying rates can cause hardship. - Marg Allan

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