Payment plan sought for overdue taxes

TREMONT — Town officials want to talk with the previous owners of a town-owned, tax-acquired property before deciding what to do with the parcel.

When the tax-acquired property was first brought up at the Feb. 4 meeting of the board of selectmen, there were only three members present. The item was tabled until all five selectmen could be in attendance.

On Tuesday, when Town Manager Chris Saunders requested the will of the board for the .41-acre property located at 110 Bernard Road, selectmen were hesitant to take action.

Taxes on the property have not been paid since 2017 and total $4,095 with interest and costs added.

“I don’t think it’s a lot of money yet,” said Selectman Mike Mansolilli. “People fall on hard times.”

Town Clerk Katie Dandurand said several certified letters had been sent to the owners requesting payment. She said the residents have responded in the past but have not since the latest notice was sent.

“I don’t have a phone number on file,” she said when selectmen asked if someone could reach out to the owners for a conversation. “They are year-round residents still.”

Selectman Howdy Goodwin offered to track down a phone number for the previous homeowners by the next board meeting. Selectmen agreed to ask a town official to reach out and try to set up a payment plan before the town makes a decision about what to do with the property.

According to Sanders’s memo to the board for the meeting, there are three tax-acquired properties in the town’s possession at this time. One, a nearly four-acre combined lot on Tremont Road, went to the public for sale last fall. It attracted a single bidder who eventually backed out of the sale due to a lack of clarity about whether the deed to the property was clean.

A second property on the list of three is currently in a repayment agreement with the previous owners.

Before taking possession of a property because of delinquent taxes, the town goes through a process of notifying the owner several times and a waiting period of at least 18 months past the time the taxes are due.

Sarah Hinckley

Sarah Hinckley

Former Islander reporter Sarah Hinckley covered the towns of Southwest Harbor, Tremont and neighboring islands.

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