New Castle is moving closer in its plans to foreclose on property owners who owe millions in unpaid property taxes.
Town Board members, at their Sept. 19 work session, indicated their support to Dan Pozin, an attorney who works for the town, to have letters sent out to lien-hold owners that indicate the prospect of foreclosure. The letters will contain information on how to get help.
In total, about 69 properties are being targeted, many of which are just "litte slivers of land," Pozin explained. He noted that this can include scenarios where people don't even know they own the land.
Roughly $2.6 million in taxes went unpaid and factored in liens, Town Clerk Jill Shapiro told the board last time it discussed the issue. Additionally, there is a principal balance of roughly $146,000 for properties on installment payment plans.
While some property owners have unpaid taxes going back to 1999 - it's the last year in which the town went through foreclosures - Pozin explained that the town only needs to target two years, 2009 and 2010, and that doing so will allow for the town to go after the full amounts.
While it was advised that the town should include all target properties in proceedings, New Castle will have discretion on whether to exercise its right by taking certain titles or selling certain properties, Pozin explained.
Councilman Robin Stout, doing a recap, noted that just 27 of the 69 parcels are developed, with just 14 out of the 27 are owner occupied. Pozin also told the town board that it's rare for a municipality to take residential title.
“Again, it’s very rare.”
When discussion turned to what should happen with the slivers, Shapiro noted that there has been interested from adjacent property owners in acquiring the small parcels for septic expension use.