Tax acquired properties in Dresden near deadline
Following up on its October 7 decision, the Dresden Board of Selectmen announced Monday that the town has sent out a 60-day notice to 20 former tax-acquired property owners to pay back taxes before the town puts the properties on the market.
Some of the delinquency goes back as far as 1998, according Trudy Foss, town administrative assistant. The amount owed the town totals $143,143, according to selectmen.
“The people have been notified many times before (about back taxes),” Foss said.
On October 7, the board decided to move ahead with sending the notices to the former property owners.
Before the town acquired the properties, there had to be at least three years in back taxes owed, according to state statute, which the board mentioned Monday again.
“Former boards have not taken action,” Board Chairman Phil Johnston said. “It is truly not fair to other taxpayers.”
Board members discussed the situation of non-action, which they argue has given the former property owners plenty of opportunity to recoup on their property loss. The board at its October 7 stated the property no longer belongs to the present occupants of the homes, since the town has legally gone through the process to obtain them.
The people currently living on the properties still have 60 days of grace to regain their properties should they opt to pay the delinquent taxes.
“It isn’t as if we haven’t tried to help people,” Selectman Allen Moeller said.
Before making their decision to go ahead with sending out notices, selectmen reviewed the statute relative to acquiring town has gone through an 18-month process giving the property owners time to pay back taxes.
All of the residents have failed to do so. In the event of failure to redeem the lien on their property during the 60-day grace period following receipt of the town’s letter, the town intends to sell the properties, selectmen said.
“If they pay the back taxes, then we will not proceed with acquiring the property,” Johnston said. “When the sale is final on the properties, former owners living there will have to vacate the premises.”
The letter addresses the residents in question with the greeting “Dear Former Property Owner.”
Selectmen plan to meet with David Probert, comprehensive plan committee chair, next Monday, Oct. 28 at 6 p.m. at the town office to discuss the topic of capital improvement for the plan.