TURNER — Selectmen agreed this week to have Town Manager Scott LaFlamme draft a letter to delinquent property taxpayers telling them they must pay up.

Town Clerk Rebecca Allaire said 20 properties were in foreclosure due to unpaid taxes and all of them are occupied.

“Technically, by state law, the town owns these properties,” she said.

The $13,591 in unpaid taxes is for 2010 and 2011. Taxes for 2012 and 2013 also are unpaid on these properties, she said. Former owners must pay all taxes before they can regain clear title to their property.

Allaire said the former owners and the town entered into payment plans so the properties could be reclaimed, but all of these plans are in arrears.

Selectman Ralph Caldwell said that before evicting people and taking the property for resale, the town should consider each case.

Advertisement

“If some 85-year-olds living on $450 in Social Security are living there, it will cost more to take care of them than to leave them in their home,” he said.

Selectman Kurt Youland said that all of the properties should be treated the same. He pointed to one that was a mobile home sitting on land he owned.

“They pay the rent on the land every month,” he said, “and they could pay their taxes.”

Selectman Lawrence House suggested Youland was more insistent in collecting than was the town.

Allaire said there is nothing forceful in the foreclosure letter that was sent to property owners.

“They come in and set up a payment plan and pay a month or two, then just stop paying,” she said.

Advertisement

Selectmen authorized LaFlamme to draft a forceful letter that says delinquent taxpayers must pay up. Selectmen will approve the letter at their next meeting.

In other business, selectmen discussed the Peddler Ordinance that will be considered at the annual town meeting April 6.

Several selectmen said the ordinance, as written by the Planning Board, is too restrictive.

Youland pointed out that it would require a site plan review before someone could sell firewood on the side of the road or open a vegetable stand on their property.

A public hearing on the ordinance is set for 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 20, in the Town Office.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.