NORWALK, Conn. – This is a press release, presented in the format in which it was sent:
TAX SALE SCHEDULED FOR MONDAY, JULY 23; $30.95 MILLION IN TAXES COLLECTED THROUGH TAX SALES
In accordance with the office of the tax collector’s commitment to efficient and effective tax collection enforcement, the City of Norwalk will conduct a tax sale of tax delinquent properties on Monday, July 23, 2018, beginning at 3 p.m. EDT, in the Norwalk City Hall Concert Hall.
The property list and information will be posted later this week on the City of Norwalk web site, at http://my.norwalkct.org/etaxsale/
The tax collector anticipates that by the date of the sale, most of the listed properties will be paid in full. The City’s last tax sale was held in July 2016, and generated more than $4.2 million in tax revenue. The 2018 tax sale is the city’s eighth tax sale. The tax sales held between 2003 and 2016 collectively brought in more than $28 million to the City. With the addition of what has been collected to date on the 2018 sale, the tax collector’s office has brought in nearly $31 million over the past fifteen years through the use of tax sales to collect back taxes.
At the time the notices for the 2018 sale were filed, the auction included: single family residential properties; multi-family residential properties; residential condominium units; commercial / professional condominium units; a boat locker; commercial properties; a theatre; restaurants; retail facilities; mixed use commercial / residential buildings; also: non-conforming lots; boat slips (marina slip units); and vacant land.
In November 2017, the Tax Collector’s office began working on this sale and selected more than 220 properties for inclusion in the sale in an effort to collect approximately $2.3 million. At that time the office sent preliminary letters to the property owners whose properties were scheduled for sale, advising them of the pending enforcement. In March 2018, after the current collection period ended and collection results were analyzed, more properties were added, increasing the amount anticipated to be collected from the sale to more than $4 million. Subsequently, the tax collector’s office added additional properties to the sale in an effort to collect blight and zoning fees, health department relocation fees, and delinquent sewer assessments. Formal demand and lien notices were sent to all of the property owners in March 2018, and a second set of demand letters that specifically referenced the upcoming tax sale was sent in April 2018.
Since November, nearly half of the properties scheduled for tax sale have already paid in full. Those payments, together with numerous partial payments on accounts remaining in the sale, already total in excess of $2.7 million in tax collections.
Notices of sale were filed in the Norwalk land records on Monday, May 14. As of this writing, there are 89 properties and 11 marina slip units (boat slips) remaining in the sale. In accordance with state law, the list of properties scheduled for sale will be published in a local newspaper, and posted in the City Hall lobby. A mailing to the affected owners will be done this week and next.
The criteria for inclusion in the 2018 tax sale was: $15,000 or more past due, regardless of the length of time; or, property three or more years in arrears, regardless of dollar amount owed. If a property met either criteria, it was included in this sale. Some of the properties on the list will show balances due less than these amounts, or for only a single year; that is because partial payments have been made since the initial list was compiled. Properties are not removed from the tax sale until all taxes and associated fees are paid in full.
An informational packet describing the tax sale process for potential bidders may be purchased in the tax collector’s office for $25. The packet includes a complete description of the process, instructions for potential bidders, and copies of the relevant state statutes. The tax collector’s office encourages those who think they may be interested in the process to buy the packet and become educated about tax sales, before deciding to bid.
Each of the properties included in the tax sale property is private property. Potential bidders are not permitted to trespass on the properties at any time prior to, or after, the tax sale. There is no public inspection of tax sale property. The owners of the properties retain all of their rights to their properties, and are entitled to the peaceful enjoyment of their properties throughout this process. The purpose of the tax sale is to collect past due taxes and to maintain a high current tax collection rate, and not necessarily to redistribute property ownership.
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