ROCKLAND, Maine — The city took ownership of three homes last week for nonpayment of property taxes.
One of the properties seized by the city was a two-story home at 106 Thomaston St. The city had assessed the property’s value at $107,800 for tax purposes.
The owner, who has had the property since 1996, failed to pay $1,107 in property taxes that had been billed in the summer of 2011.
The other two properties are mobile homes located in Sunset Terrace Mobile Home Park on Park Street. One of the homes was assessed by the city at $30,700, and the person had owned it since 2005. That person owed $395 in taxes.
The other was assessed at $25,500, and the owner has had the property since 1993. That person owed $242 in taxes.
City Tax Collector Susan St. Clair said that the Thomaston Street home appears to be unoccupied, but there are residents living in the two mobile homes.
The city’s attorney will send letters to the former owners of all three properties, as is mandated by city ordinance, offering to give back the properties if they pay the outstanding taxes, interest and fees associated with the foreclosures. Those letters were mailed Monday.
Kevin Beal, city attorney, said no responses had been received as of late Tuesday morning.
City officials point out each year that the city has no interest in acquiring properties from tax seizures, but it is state law. The city also has stressed that multiple notices are sent to property owners after the initial tax bills are mailed.
Notices were sent out when the taxes were six months overdue. Notices were also sent out when the city filed liens 18 months ago. A new set of notices was sent out 45 days before foreclosure.
The city adds properties seized for nonpayment of taxes to its insurance policy, which city officials have said is a minimal cost. The city also requires that any code violations to be corrected before the properties can be returned to the former owners if they want them.
If the former owner does not want the property, the city attempts to sell it to generate municipal revenues.
The three properties seized this year is one less than in 2013, when the city took four homes, the highest total in more than 35 years in Rockland.