Pay up or else: M.D. sets date for tax recovery auction

Joe McWilliams
Lakeside Leader

If the owners of four properties in the M.D. do not make arrangements to pay their back taxes pretty soon, their properties will be sold on Nov. 27. M.D. council was informed at its Sept. 12 meeting that this is the mandated procedure for such things, and that efforts to set up payment plans with the owners continue.

Step 2 of the process – also approved by council – was to set the reserve bids and conditions of sale for the properties.

The properties, taxes owed and reserve bids are as follows: One in Smith owes $3,145 and the reserve bid is $200,000. Another in Smith owes $721 and the reserve bid is $22,000. A third Smith property owes $732 in back taxes and the reserve bid is set at $15,000. Finally, a Flatbush property is $388 behind in taxes and the reserve bid is $7,000.

Further details on these properties were not provided, but their locations were shown on maps included in council’s agenda package. The two smaller of the Smith properties are in the hamlet (one on 2nd St. and one on 7th St.) – as is the one in Flatbush (on 1st Ave. S.). The bigger Smith property is a fair-sized chunk of land on Ranch Road.

Councillor Becky Peiffer asked if the procedure is that once sold, the M.D. takes what it is owed and the rest of the proceeds go to the (former) owner.

That’s right, said the M.D.’s director of finance Jason Warawa.

If there are no bids, or they don’t meet the reserve amount, the M.D. becomes the owner of the property.

In practice, most properties up for tax recovery sale do not end up being sold. The threat of having properties sold out from underneath them tends to motivate the delinquent owners. According to Warawa, the last time the M.D. held a tax recovery sale was about four years ago.

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