Foreclosures triple in Stonington

STONINGTON — The town of Stonington last week foreclosed on nine properties, triple the town’s usual number.

The foreclosures are on properties for which taxes have not been paid since 2010.

The real estate ranges from house lots to a Main Street commercial building to an ocean-view residence. Together, the properties represent a total of $43,500 in unpaid tax revenue for the town.

“It affects our tax flow,” said Town Manager Kathleen Billings-Pezaris. “We have to take out tax-anticipation notes. Before, we were dealing with three or four properties. Now we’re up to nine. It’s getting worse.”

The $43,500 figure represents just the unpaid taxes for the properties that Stonington acquired last week.

The town has still more lost tax revenue from properties that are one or two years behind on taxes but haven’t yet been foreclosed.

“I really sympathize with these tough times, but 99 percent of these people are paying their bills,” said Selectman Chris Betts.

Another issue is that a few of the tax-acquired properties have fallen into disrepair and have become “nuisances” for the town, Billings-Pezaris said.

The town manager is going to consult with the town’s tax attorney at Portland law firm Bernstein Shur. The firm has advised Stonington in the past that the town should have a foreclosure policy.

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Jennifer Osborn

Jennifer Osborn

Reporter and columnist at The Ellsworth American
News Reporter Jennifer Osborn covers news and features on the Blue Hill Peninsula and Deer Isle-Stonington. She welcomes tips and story ideas. She also writes the Gone Shopping column. Email Jennifer with your suggestions at [email protected] or call 667-2576.
Jennifer Osborn

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