The Auditor-General has ordered the Far North mayor and his property development company to pay the council $76,000 towards the cost of sewerage reticulation on a Kerikeri subdivision.
Wayne Brown and his council disputed how much was owed, with the council estimating it to be $136,000 and Mr Brown $55,000.
He refused to pay some rates and charges between 2010 and 2012 until the matter was resolved.
Each party asked the Auditor-General to investigate.
Mr Brown had already paid $19,000 in unpaid rates.