Even though the City of Corner Brook was trying to recoup some of the money it was owed in property taxes, Mayor Jim Parsons said bidding on those properties in a tax sale was not an unusual practice.
The city put six properties up for sale in an auction on March 20.
Four of them — 8 Water St., 38 Coronation St., 43 Petries St. and 7 Dawe Place — were sold that day in a private bidding process, bringing in $99,500. Of that $43,358.74 went towards taxes owed on the properties.
Two other properties — 51 Doves Rd. and 6 McWhirters Lane — were sold on March 27 and brought in an additional $11,700, bringing the total for the tax sale to $111,200
Parsons said the city had been trying to recover $82,047 in taxes and was able to recover $55,058.
“Some of the houses we clearly didn’t recover the full amount on,” said Parsons.
Also, the city only takes the amount owing on a property, with anything over and above going back to the owner.
While the overall goal was to collect the tax money, Parsons said the city under the process outlined in the City of Corner Brook Act was also able to bid on the properties.
On March 19, council, during a council in committee meeting, approved bidding on the six parcels.
In order to be valid that decision had to be ratified at a public meeting and that took place on April 10.
“Sometimes there’s land that is valuable to the city for one reason or another and, of course, there’s also the issue of tax arrears on the properties that we’d want to recover,” said Parsons.
So, by bidding on the property, he said it doesn’t go totally undervalued.
He said the reasons the city may be interested in a property are varied. The property may be useful for some work it is carrying out to city infrastructure or road upgrades, or it may be a property that the city could sell.
As for the process of holding tax sales, Parsons said that is a last resort.
“We typically don’t like to do that,” he said and added the city will work with property owners to try to recover taxes.
What the city bid for the properties
8 Water St., $6,500
38 Coronation St., $16,000
43 Petries St., $11,000
7 Dawe Place, $13,000
6 McWhirters Lane, $10,000
51 Doves Rd., $1,000
What the properties sold for
8 Water St., $11,500
38 Coronation St., $18,000
43 Petries St., $56,000
7 Dawe Place, $14,000
6 McWhirters Lane, $10,500
51 Doves Rd., $1,200