MECHANIC FALLS — The Town Council on Monday night accepted the high bid of $40,400 for the .7 acre lot at 83 Pigeon Hill Road, which was foreclosed on due to unpaid taxes.

But according to a unanimous U.S. Supreme Court decision May 25 in Tyler v. Hennepin County, Minnesota, the town may only keep the $4,528.26 in unpaid taxes. The remainder may go to the previous owner.

The property has an assessed value of $46,689.

Maine is one of 12 states and the District of Columbia that allow local jurisdictions to keep all the money from the sale of property taken for unpaid taxes. The high court’s ruling could affect municipalities throughout the state.

Town Manager Vic Hodgkins said the town’s attorney advised officials to proceed with the bid process and place the balance after the taxes owed in a separate account until the ruling is clearly defined.

Additional expenses such as advertising the sale and time spent associated with the sale may also be included in what the municipality receives.


There were eight bids for the property; the lowest was $7,000.

The winning bidder was not identified.

In other business, the council approved police Chief Jeff Goss’ request to participate in the Patrol Rifle Purchase program. He said it allows officers to purchase and customize their patrol rifles for use while on duty.

The department will loan the officer up to $2,000 for the purchase, which will be repaid in two years.

If a police officer leaves or is relieved of duty or fails to meet training requirements, the officer has to pay the remaining balance of the purchase.

Also, the officer will not receive any refund for what has been paid on the loan.

The council endorsed an updated fee schedule at the Transfer Station. Items included tires, carpets, furniture, mattresses, box springs and appliances.

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