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Norfolk council launches tax crackdown

PUBLISHED: 08:00 07 February 2010 | UPDATED: 11:10 07 July 2010

Victoria Leggett

Council-tax and business-rate dodgers in north Norfolk, who have so far avoided paying out more than £800,000, could have their prized possessions seized by bailiffs.

Council-tax and business-rate dodgers in north Norfolk, who have so far avoided paying out more than £800,000, could have their prized possessions seized by bailiffs.

From Monday, the area's district council will be cracking down on hundreds of people who have deliberately not paid their council tax and business rates.

Last night, those with outstanding bills were urged to make arrangements to pay as quickly as possible in order to avoid an unwanted visit from a bailiff.

As many as 400 householders owe North Norfolk District Council a total of £738,716 in council tax and have already had at least four requests for the money. About £294,000 of that is new debt build up this financial year.

A further 50 business owners owe £81,276 in rates - £58,000 of which is new since April 2009.

The crackdown will last for at least two weeks and, if the debt is not paid, property and goods could be seized and sold at auction to cover the amount owed.

Peter Moore, NNDC's cabinet member for resources, said people with financial problems could get help from the council or the Citizens Advice Bureau.

But he added: “It is everybody's duty to pay these things, because they help cover the cost of local services for the whole community and it's most vulnerable in particular. Of course times are hard right now but, if you don't pay or choose not to, you are making it harder for everyone else and that is simply not fair or right.”

Anyone with a bill outstanding should contact the bailiff, who will have written to them in the past, straight away to make arrangements to pay.

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