PROPERTY owners who have failed to pay their rates for several years in the Federation Council area could have their land forcibly sold.
There are 36 properties in the council area which have accrued more than five years of unpaid rates and charges.
Staff recommend the properties be sold to recoup the cash during auctions at Urana on August 17 and at Corowa a week later.
Under the proposal, which will be voted on by councillors on Tuesday, the properties would not be withdrawn from sale unless the entire bills were paid three days before the auctions, or by agreement with the council.
The details of each property is confidential, but includes homes, vacant blocks of land and deceased estates spread across different towns.
The addresses will become public if councillors vote in favour of the proposal.
Mayor Patrick Bourke said selling the properties could bring new families to towns in the shire.
"We've got a lot of land parcels owing a lot of rates," he said.
"The council needs to bring it to a head.
"Hopefully we'll get a settlement, make agreements with the owners, or they'll be sold and help establish new people in our community."
There have been similar sales for unpaid rates under the former Urana and Corowa shires, but Cr Bourke said they hadn't occurred for many years.
He said it was frustrating that the rates hadn't been paid.
"We rely on rates for all the infrastructure our community needs," Cr Bourke said.
"Ideally everyone would be paying rates to provide the community with services, but there may be many reasons why they weren't paid.
"The doors are always open for anyone who wants to liaise with council on these matters."
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He said there hadn't been any opposition to the proposal, which would involve public auctions of the properties.
The land and homes would be inspected and reserve prices set.
Any properties that weren't sold at auction would then be sold by private treaty.
Cr Bourke said most of the properties were vacant blocks of land but some were residences.
"It's a measure you have to take to activate those blocks again," he said.
"They're right across the Federation Council area."
The council meeting will be held at Urana at 9.30am.
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