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Norwalk’s Property Sale Nets $4.25 Million In Delinquent Taxes

Norwalk Town Clerk Rick McQuaid was busy after several properties that owed back taxes exchanged hands.
Norwalk Town Clerk Rick McQuaid was busy after several properties that owed back taxes exchanged hands. Photo Credit: Daily Voice File photo

NORWALK, Conn. -- The City of Norwalk’s  tax sale last July resulted in more than than $4.25 million in back taxes for the city, according to tax collector Lisa Biagiarelli.

Seven properties and 41 marina slip units were transferred to new owners in January after the six month redemption period ended.

“The collection of more than $4.25 million in back taxes makes this tax sale successful,'' Biagiarelli said. "We exceeded our projection of $4 million. The tax sale is the City of Norwalk’s primary means of collection enforcement for past due real estate taxes."

Tax Collector’s deeds to the properties that transferred were delivered to Town Clerk Rick McQuaid, and have been recorded in the Norwalk Land Records.

Three of the 7 properties deeded over were land-only parcels that were taken by the city in lieu of taxes, because there were no other bids. The other four were deeded over to outside bidders.

Those four properties were:

  • 40 Chatham Drive, which sold for $200,000
  • 53 ½ Elmwood Avenue, which sold for $240,000
  • 94 Lexington Avenue, which sold for $100,000
  • 11 Burwell Street, which sold for $135,000.

All four of those properties had at least three years’ back taxes due. The Burwell Street property had four years’ back taxes due.

The 41 boat slips were sold to nine bidders, several of whom purchased multiple slips, including Dennis Brandt Nye, who purchased a total of 17 slips, and Marina Unit Norwalk LLC, which purchased 14.

There were originally in excess of 230 properties in the sale when work on it began in November 2015. The criteria for inclusion in the 2016 tax sale was either $17,000 or more due, regardless of the length of time; or three or more years’ taxes in arrears, regardless of the amount. If a property met either criterion, it was included. Properties were not removed until all taxes and associated fees were paid in full.

By the time notices were filed on the land records in May 2016, 169 properties were still in the sale. On the day of the sale, July 18, 2016, there were only 16 properties left to sell; 149 properties had been paid in full prior to the sale, while four properties were removed because the owners had filed for bankruptcy.

The tax sale also included 52 boat slips (marina slip units) located on environmentally compromised property on Platt Street. Of the 52 boat slips, 41 were sold, at the discounted price of $3,000 each. The City had offered these slips in two prior tax sales (2012 and 2014), and had been unable to sell them.

This time, 27 marina slip units were sold on July 18. The sale was adjourned on the remaining slips until July 27, at which time the sale was reconvened, and 14 more slips were sold. None of the marina slip units were redeemed, and all 41 were deeded over to the successful bidders in January 2017. There are now only 11 slips remaining with unpaid taxes. Those 11 will be offered for sale in the future.

Biagiarelli stressed that the primary purpose of the tax sale is to enforce collection of taxes, not to transfer ownership of properties. “The tax sale is the cornerstone of our office’s collection enforcement strategy,” she said. “The tax sale is sound policy. We were successful in collecting what was due."

She also expressed satisfaction that 41 of the 52 marina slip units at the Platt Street location were sold and deeded over to new owners, thus resolving a complicated situation involving multiple years’ back taxes on dozens of properties.

This was the City’s seventh tax sale since 2003. In total, these tax sales have yielded in excess of $28.3 million in back tax collections.

The tax sale appears on the city’s website at http://my.norwalkct.org/etaxsale/ . The site shows the sale results and includes information about each of the properties, copies of all the legal notices, and other information.

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