THE Shire of Mundaring is attempting to seize and sell a resident’s assets, including their property, to recoup debts from overdue rates.
Shire chief executive Jonathan Throssell said under the Local Government Act, the Shire could take possession of a property where the rates have been outstanding for three or more years.
“As at January 31, 2017, $7.4 million in rates was outstanding,” he said.
“The outstanding amount as at 30 June 2016 was $880,486 and $792,900 at the end of the 2015 financial year.”
Mr Throssell said it was not common action for a Shire to take over and inthe past 10 years no houses had been repossessed or gone to auction stage.
He said the Shire explored many avenues prior to getting to this stage.
“Firstly the Shire will issue a final rates notice,” he said,
“If the outstanding amount remains unpaid after a final rates notice has been issued, a follow-up letter is sent out.
“This letter advises that unless rates are paid in full, or a suitable payment arrangement is entered in to, the matter will be referred to the courts.
“Thereafter general procedure claims are be lodged with the Magistrates Court.”