Rochester goes after delinquent property taxes

Aug 7, 2018

Property owners who have not paid their taxes are being asked to pay up or face potential tax taking of their properties.

Town Administrator Suzanne Szyndlar gave the board of selectmen an update on where the town stands with property tax collections and enforcement at the board's Aug. 6, meeting.

"As a result of letters mailed from the Town Treasurer's office on May 31, requesting action to be taken on paying back taxes by June 30, or enter into payment plans, two properties were paid in full, two others made payments with the promise to continue paying regularly until paid in full," Szyndlar said.

She said that there are two more properties that owe back taxes but they are in the process of being sold. She said the taxes on those properties will be paid to the town when the properties are sold.

She noted that the town recently received a large payment of $50,000, but she did not say from where it came. The town administrator also noted that Town Counsel had sent out letters dated Aug. 2, notifying property owners of potential foreclosure proceedings if property tax bills are not paid.

"The original tax taking with subsequent taxes had a total of $132,000. The balance is around $92,000. We collected around $40,000, plus $15,000 in interest," Szyndlar said. "However, new tax takings on July 31 total $50,000, so the new balance is $142,000.

"This is something that happens annually," she said. "Properties in tax title pay 16 percent interest per Massachusetts General Law. If a bank owns the property, they would take care of back taxes because they are the second lien holder. But towns are the first lien holder."