10 The new Fairfield landowners owe $220,000 in unpaid taxes. Why the city may not get the money back

NEW FAIRFIELD — Ten homeowners owe more than $220,000 in unpaid taxes and associated charges, according to municipal tax collection data — and some of the money may never be collected.

The properties of the city’s top 10 tax offenders include vacant land, unimproved parcels and single-family properties.

While some of the owners have set up installment plans to pay off their debt, tax collector Kerrie Greening said there are others the city is actively trying to recover, and some who are not. more alive – including New Fairfield’s No. 1 property tax. offender.

The late owner has five parcels of vacant land to his name and about $53,530 owed in taxes, liens, interest and fees after more than a decade of missed payments, according to city records.

Of the deceased’s five properties, the one with the largest outstanding debt is 1 Lamont Road, for which more than $40,550 in taxes are owed. The 0.6 acre parcel has an estimated value of $72,200 and a assessed value of $50,500, according to land records.

Approximately $12,980 in taxes are owed on the other four properties in his name – 6 Dale Road, 4 Calverton Drive, 5 Cameron Road and 18 Bantam Road – which have a combined appraised value of $15,900 and a combined assessed value of 11 $100.

“The owner is deceased and the estate is not interested in the properties,” Greening said. “We normally contact surrounding property owners to see if there’s interest – but if the owner doesn’t want it, the neighbors don’t want it and the city doesn’t want it, then the vacant property will just sit out there.”

The owner of 10 Calverton Drive has the second highest amount of property taxes owed to the city – but they too are no longer alive, according to Greening.

City records show more than $26,960 is owed on the property over 14 years of unpaid taxes, liens, interest and fees. According to land records, the 0.35 acre parcel of unimproved land has an appraised value of $46,100 and a assessed value of $32,300.

Greening said the city’s first step in trying to collect overdue taxes is to notify property owners who don’t meet the payment deadline.

“Taxes are due in July and once they are overdue, we immediately start sending overdue notices each month,” she said. “We also sometimes call people, depending on how late they are in payment – ​​and if that gets to a certain point, we do tax sales.”

Tax sales are when the city puts a property up for auction to collect unpaid taxes from the owner.

Greening said the time New Fairfield considers a tax sale is when there are at least three or more installments past due and more than $5,000 owing.

Whether or not an auction is held also depends on the city’s chances of successfully recovering the money owed in property taxes.

“It costs the city money to do a tax sale, so why spend money knowing we’re not going to get the money back?” Greening said, adding that there have been times when auctions have taken place after a party has expressed interest in a property with delinquent taxes.

“Anyone can bid on a tax sale, but in those cases it’s usually the person who’s interested,” she said.

When a tax sale fails, the unpaid tax debt on a property sometimes goes unsettled. Greening said it happened at 10 Calverton Drive.

“The city put it up for a tax sale years ago,” she said. “Nobody bid on the property and the city didn’t want it, so it just sits there.”

There have been times when the city has taken possession of properties following unsuccessful tax sales and then sold them to interested buyers – as might happen with the two small parcels of undeveloped municipal land at 23 Calverton Drive and at 39 Fulton Drive.

The special town meeting regarding this potential sale was scheduled for September 8, but was canceled for unspecified reasons. First manager Pat Del Monaco could not be reached for comment on Thursday afternoon.

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