The owners of Chudleigh’s Melita Honey Farm have less than three weeks to pay rates before their home is auctioned by the Meander Valley Council.
The Dutch-born family have refused to pay rates on their three properties since July 2010 because they believe the land is owned by God.
Meander Valley mayor Craig Perkins said the Beerepoot family had not made contact with the council since a real estate agent was appointed last month.
“On September 1, at 11am, at the council office, we will be auctioning the property, presuming they don't pay all monies that are owned before then,” he said.
“It’s disappointing that we have to go to this extreme to recover rates and that the property owners haven't been able to come to the realisation that we are serious about what we said we are going to do.”
The council received an anonymous rate payment for the two properties from which the Melita Honey Farm operates in June but not for the Mole Creek home, known as the Blue Wren Hideaway.
It is owned by AM Beerepoot and has been run as a bed and breakfast.
When asked if the family intended to pay the rates before the auction owner Fanny Beerepoot said “well, there’s not really much to talk about”.
Meander Valley councillors resolved to sell the three properties in March when $9332 of rates was outstanding.
According to the council’s director of corporate services, Jonathan Harmey, the family “steadfastly reaffirmed their belief that the land was not theirs but that of the Heavenly Father, that council would be taking the land from him and that was a matter between council and God”.
The council’s March meeting agenda said previous legal action to recover rates on the three properties owned by the Beerepoot family resulted in Tasmania Police executing a warrant to seize and sell an old motor vehicle.
A letter from the owners in February said “Council’s world view is that the ‘law of the land’ governs life and thus also provides progress, growth and security. On the other hand, we believe that our Heavenly Father is Sovereign and that He reigns today, thus we worship Him and Him alone so that His will is established on the earth … you are asking us to bow down to a false god which is something we cannot do.”
The proceeds of the sale – minus the unpaid rates – will be given to the Beerepoot family, despite claims the land is owned by God.