[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Council of the Town of South Berwick 1-12-1987. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Editor’s Note: The Council reviewed and ratified this policy 12-8-2015.
Since the Town of South Berwick occasionally forecloses on property for nonpayment of taxes, a fair and consistent manner of disposing of that property is necessary. It will be the policy of the Town of South Berwick to dispose of tax-acquired property with no intent of making a profit.
Former owner(s) regain ownership. The Town will make every reasonable effort to see that the last former owner(s) of the property has the opportunity to regain ownership of his/her property. The Town will first offer the tax-acquired property to the last former owner upon the condition that all back taxes, interest, lien costs and the current year taxes are paid in full. This will be done within 10 days after the foreclosure date by notifying the former owner(s) by certified mail. If there is no response within 30 days, the Town Council at its sole option may take any of the following actions:
Public sealed bids. The Town may offer the tax-acquired property to the general public on a sealed bid basis. Notification of bids shall be published in a newspaper of general circulation and shall be posted in some conspicuous place in Town at least seven days, but not more than 14 days prior to the bid deadline. Separate written notice shall be sent to the property abutter(s). The tax-acquired property shall be sold to the highest reasonable (minimum may be set by the Town Council before the bid) bidder.
Sell to property abutters. The property may be offered to the property abutters at current assessed value at a ratio of 100%. If there is more than one abutter, selection will be made by lottery.
Town ownership. The Town may choose not to dispose of tax-acquired property, but to retain the property for public use.
The Town may choose to dispose of tax acquired property through a public auction.
The Town may choose to donate or sell tax-acquired property for up to or less than its current assessed value to a qualified conservation organization, as described in IRC Section 170(h), whose core mission includes the conservation and stewardship of land in perpetuity.
Future disposition. The Town will not dispose of tax-acquired property if the location of the property is questionable. If the location of the property becomes known at a later date, the Town may dispose of it in conformance to this policy.