Auckland Council is chasing unpaid rates of $300,595.02 on eight properties and court action has begun to result in forced sales.
Kevin Ramsay, council chief financial officer, released the amounts owing on the eight properties across Auckland.
But he refused to release any names or addresses of owners, citing the Privacy Act.
However, Barfoot & Thompson is now advertising a vacant section at 2/57 Northboro Rd in Belmont on the North Shore after $59,393 unpaid rates. Property records showed that place is owned by Marian Anne Carol Chiswell.
Barfoots will auction the Belmont section at 9am on April 22 and a council statement said no rates had been paid since March 31, 2005.
Nor had the owner responded to any council contact, including reminder notices, since 2012.
"This is the first of an historical list of large overdue rates that the council is working through using a court process," the statement said.
QV showed the site had a capital value of $640,000 last July and was last sold on July 3, 1996 for $141,500.
Barfoots described the half-share in a 718sq m site as being down a driveway.
"The property comprises a vacant, residential section. The rear section is accessed by a shared concrete driveway, is mainly grassed having a gentle slope to the northwest enjoying a sunny warm aspect. The section is zoned 4A and is located in a popular location at the eastern upper end of Northboro Road and within close walking distance of Takapuna Grammar School and public transport and handy to Takapuna beach," Barfoots said.
Activist Penny Bright's property was second on the council's list of eight properties, with rates of $33,598.45 owed.
Her place at 86a School Rd in Kingsland was the subject of court action in March where she defeated the council's attempts to sell it.
Her victory was due to an "over-zealous" council worker including additional costs on a document submitted in court.
The technical flaws in the council's evidence prompted a judge to grant her application to set aside the judgment allowing the council to force the sale of her place to recover rates the debts.
However, her place remains on the council's list but Ms Bright said yesterday she planned to challenge the rates bill, talked of organising a protest against the Belmont sale and claimed all the council's rate-gathering processes were flawed.
"I'm still in the process of getting the paper work together and getting a lawyer but I'll be back to the High Court seeking a declaratory judgment testing the validity of my rates. I've gone through a great wad of invoices and assessments and under the Local Government Rating Act, some of the information that should be there is not in the invoices. That information includes how my rates is being spent," she said.
Councils had draconian powers and Auckland Council's evidence was fundamentally flawed when they it to court against her, she said.
"I've got unfinished business here. It's outrageous. It's a big deal to put a house without any debt on the line," she said her battle over the rates bill.
Mr Ramsay said that if a ratepayer was experiencing hardship, they should contact council because various payment options available to them.
"We have a rates customer service and credit control team set up to deal with these situations," he said.
But he also took a swipe at property owners who did not pay rates.
"We believe it is important to ensure fairness and equity for all ratepayers and so it is unfair that those who pay their rates regularly are subsidising those who do not."
Property owners get four rates invoices annually and if they don't pay, about seven reminder letters if rates are not cleared by the four instalment due dates.
Unpaid rates bills
Auckland Council says court action is being taken for unpaid rates of:
$59,393.74 2/57 Northboro Rd, Belmont, vacant land, owned by Marian Anne Carol Chiswell
$33,598.45 86A School Rd, Kingsland, owned by activist Penny Bright's place
$39,245.76 Auckland Central apartment
$25,319.61 New Lynn commercial premises
$74,402.02 Henderson commercial premises
$41,881.78 Sandringham house
$16,470.80 West Auckland premises
$10,282.86 Manurewa residence