• John Jantak

Hudson properties auctioned for unpaid taxes


PHOTO BY JOHN JANTAK

Hudson Director General Catherine Haulard served as auctioneer during a public auction of six properties for unpaid taxes on Wednesday morning, July 2. Town Clerk Vincent Maranda completed the necessary paperwork with the buyers at the end of each auction.

Following months of eff orts to reach home and land owners, six private properties were sold at auction by the Town of Hudson yesterday morning for non-payment of property and school taxes.

About 30 people gathered at the Stephen F. Shaar Community Centre to offer bids on each property which included two lots owned by Cie McCormick Woods Golf Inc. The lots sold for $8,100 and $9,500 for outstanding taxes and administrative costs totaling $1,563.83 and $1,981.15 on each respective property.

The highest seller was a residential property at 57 Lower Whitlock Street co-owned by Dario Zanetti and Anna Maria Calabretta which sold for $50,000 to recoup $18,319.55 in unpaid taxes and fees. The lowest seller was a lot at 62 Parsons Street owned by James Hart which sold for $1,381, the exact amount owed in taxes and fees.

Two other residential properties were also sold including one owned by Cie Davidson Georges Estate on 56 Aspen Street that sold for $13,000, more than $10,000 above the $2772.27 asking price. And owner Reginald Williams’ property on 83 Bellevue Street was purchased for $23,000 to pay off $6,327.25 in taxes and fees.

At the end of each auction, the buyers were led into an adjacent room by Town Clerk Vincent Maranda to fill out the paperwork necessary to complete the transaction before the next lot was put on the block for bids. Purchasers were responsible to pay the full price and any applicable taxes for each property sold and agreed to buy the properties in “as is” condition without any warranty.

Director General Catherine Haulard, who acted as auctioneer, said it would have been preferable if none of the properties was sold, but the town had to proceed with the auction to collect on delinquent taxes.

“The auction went very well,” Haulard told Your Local Journal afterwards. “It’s too bad that we have to auction properties. It’s never a good feeling for anybody but it’s going to help us recoup a bit of the money that was owed to the town and maybe we’ll have some left for some special projects.”

Haulard said the town used all means available to contact the owners to tell them their properties would be auctioned if they didn’t pay their taxes.

“We have a legal duty to let them know they owe taxes. We sent out letters last September and October by registered mail, called them by telephone, and sent out another letter telling them their property would be auctioned. All the steps were taken including putting out public notices,” said Haulard.

The information drive did help convince many other property owners who were on the original auction list to pay off their taxes. In order to keep people from falling behind on their payments, Haulard encouraged people in financial difficulty to consider contacting the town to discuss payment options. “Hopefully we won’t have to do this every year,” said Haulard. “If people are having financial troubles, they might as well come in and make an arrangement with us. It’s the best way. Everybody can go through difficult times. We understand that.”

Maranda was also pleased with auction but said it was unfortunate some people lost their property because of unpaid taxes.

“We accomplished our goal which was to collect the unpaid taxes for the town,” said Maranda. “This is ultimately how municipal taxes are collected by people who are delinquent in paying their taxes. This is what the law prescribes and this is what the law obliges municipalities to do at some point.

“It’s the ultimate recourse,” Maranda added. “It is unfortunate because you never want to get to that point but this is where you have to go ultimately to collect the taxes. It’s too bad some people have to be in this situation.”

Even though the buyers technically own the properties they bought, the owners of the lots still have one year from the date of sale to reclaim their properties by paying off the taxes, sales price and other fees, said Maranda.

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