Blantyre City Council has warned property owners with City rates arrears to immediately settle their bills or risk losing their property.
The chairman of the council’s finance committee, Councillor Alinane George Chipwete told a new conference on Monday that property owners were told about a month ago to settle their taxes through the daily gazette.
Said Chipwete: “You may also recall that a few months ago, we gazetted as well as published in the daily papers names of property owners whose property had been in tax arrears.
“The notice period for owners to redeem such property has expired and I would like to inform you that the Council will this week start publicizing properties that are now due for seizure and our legal team is ready with necessary documentation to commence court proceedings,” he said.
Chipwete, a former MP. further said the council depends on city rates for its operations and that up to 65 percent of its revenue is raised through property taxes.
He, however, said negligence by residents when it comes to paying city rates will continue denying them the opportunity to access quality services.
“The greatest problem the council has is unwillingness by property owners to remit property taxes. The council has therefore been suffocated financially due to this development and if immediate remedial action is not taken, residents will continue getting substandard services from the City fathers,” he said.
The Council has lined up a number of strategies aimed at enforcing payment of property taxes and has pleaded with residents to pay their property rates to avoid property seizure.