TREMONT — Ahead of Tuesday’s Board of Selectmen meeting, Town Manager Dana Reed was ready to suggest setting a date for selling tax-acquired property. After deliberations, though, selectmen decided to seek legal advice before approving a sales date.
The town had foreclosed on six properties as of Nov. 16 last year due to unpaid taxes for the previous fiscal year. Currently, there are seven properties with unpaid taxes, but owners of only three of them have entered a payment plan with the town. Two property owners have filed for bankruptcy, which bars the town from taking any action against them. Two more property owners, Don Murphy and Kay Thurston, had not set up a payment arrangement by the Jan. 6 deadline.
Murphy owes the most taxes, at just over $3,000. The town’s tax collector, Katie Dandurand, wasn’t able to get in touch with him, and the town attorney was informed. Murphy had failed to pay his taxes before. After attorneys got involved, he paid the town $500 but has not made additional payments since. Kevin Buck, the chair of the Board of Selectmen, suggested consulting with an attorney again on Murphy’s case.
Kay Thurston has $75.60 due in back taxes. Given the low amount, the selectmen considered writing off her tax debt. Dandurand, however, worried that the move might send the wrong message.
“She may think we’ll write the next couple of years off,” she said.
According to Dandurand, the next step per the town’s tax-acquired-property policy is to determine whether to retain the properties for town use or sell them.