30 Jun 2015

Rates rebel Rogan tests case in court

7:43 am on 30 June 2015

A busload of Mangawhai ratepayers are travelling to Whangarei today to witness what they say is a test case in their long battle with the Kaipara District Council.

Mangawhai, Northland

Mangawhai, Northland Photo: 123RF

The council is suing the ratepayers' chairman, Bruce Rogan for $22,000 in back rates and penalties.

But Mr Rogan said the council's demands were illegal.

Mr Rogan has taken a test case in Whangarei District Court against the Kaipara District Council and a hearing will take place today.

He said he and many other Mangawhai people had been withholding their rates in protest, since 2011, after the council borrowed for a sewage scheme without telling the ratepayers.

But after Parliament validated the rates charged to service the debt, the council via the banks, began taking the unpaid rates out of the bank accounts of those with mortgages.

Mr Rogan said because he was mortgage-free the council had to sue - but he believed it could not force him to pay because its rate demands were full of errors.

He said he had offered to pay $13,000 - the amount he believed was correct - but the council had refused to accept.

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