Media Release - Katherine Town Council recovers rates debt

Published on Friday, 4 March 2022 at 12:25:40 PM

Katherine councillors unanimously agreed at a Special Meeting of Council to recover unpaid rates and charges on a property before it is sold.

At the meeting on Friday, March 4, councillors heard that a property with an accumulated $13,915.87 in outstanding rates and charges has entered a settlement process, confirmed for March 9, 2022. As there is an overriding statutory charge on this property, Katherine Town Council must apply to discharge them to enable the sale and recovery of debt before the new owner takes possession.

With over $1.2 million dollars in unpaid rates and charges, some dating back many years, Katherine Town Council is taking legal action to recover this debt. Councillors passed the recommendation to delegate approval of future overriding statutory charge processes to council’s chief executive officer Ingrid Stonhill. Stonhill will periodically report to council on the progress of rates recovery.

Stonhill is new to her role with council as of February. She said rates were an integral part of council being able to provide its services to the community.

“These past years, council seems to have been particularly mindful of the hardship that Covid-19 presented,” she said. “Now we need to take prudent business steps to clear this backlog and ensure all residents are being treated fairly.”

Council follows a process to give ratepayers every chance to pay their outstanding debt before the legal team is involved and, as a last resort, action taken to sell the property.

Due to some technical issues, no legal action has been taken since 2017, causing some of the backlog. But this year, in response to demand letters, council has recovered about $213,000 of the overall outstanding debt.

For more information, contact Emily Kemp, Communications and Engagement Officer at 0498 725 055 or

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