The town of East Windsor is foreclosing on several properties with outstanding back taxes.
"We so do not want to do this," said East Windsor First Selectman Denise Menard.
Menard said foreclosure is the last option in terms of collecting back taxes. It's often complicated by the fact that they can't find the owners.
"Those that we don't have a specific owner," Menard said. "We've done title searches and we don't have a good owner for them."
Of the 100 or so properties with back taxes, the four being foreclosed on are all open land with some of them being less than a quarter acre.
Once the town gets the title, officials can sell the lots for back taxes and fees or at auction to the highest bidder.
And if the parcel abuts town property, the town can always keep it if it so chooses.
The downside is they don't get any taxes on it, but they weren't getting any taxes on it anyway.
"We have gone to court on a lot of the properties that are now back," Menard said. "Taxes are owed and have been very successful on doing that."
In the last year, the collection efforts have brought in almost a million dollars for the town with a budget of $33 million.
"It's a tough thing to have to do but we have to get there," Menard said. "Municipalities are just in dire straits to get any income they can, and we can't let the taxpayers that are delinquent just continue."
Of course the town would like to get all the properties off their delinquent lists, but that will take time and legal fees.
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