A total of 14 properties will likely be available to the highest bidder when the City of Corner Brook holds a property tax sale.
No date has been set, but as per applicable legislation, the properties affected must be advertised in The Western Star once per week at least 30 days prior to being made available for purchase. At the end of those 30 days, the properties will be sold by public auction unless the outstanding taxes have been paid in full or they have made other payment arrangements.
The most recent property tax sale occurred last March, when six properties were sold for a total of $111,200.
Following the request for decision, brought forth at Monday night’s meeting of Corner Brook City Council by Coun. Bernd Staeben and passed unanimously, Coun. Vaughn Granter posed the question of whether the owner of one of the available properties could actually place a winning bid on his or her own property and receive it for less than the outstanding taxes owed.
Dale Park, the city’s director of finance and administration, and acting city manager, said that has never happened in his tenure, but that it was, in fact, a possibility.
He said the city’s tax sale will have a reserve on each property for the amount of the taxes, interest and expenses owed on it. Any properties that fail to sell, however, would then be offered in a second tax sale which no reserve in place, which is when a current owner could conceivably step in and acquire it for a lower value than was outstanding.
“I’m not sure I’m aware of a property owner even attending a tax sale,” he said. “But it sounds like it’s possible.”
He also stressed that the city itself has the opportunity to bid on properties and may do so if its felt a property has some value to it moving forward.
Mayor Jim Parsons said taking the action to sell properties in this fashion is something the city doesn’t take lightly and “all efforts are made to work out arrangements with property owners.”
“I know staff are very creative and flexible in how they arrange for payments for owed taxes,” he said.
Park said another key detail is that any property that is currently being occupied by the owner is not allowed to be sold.
The properties that are to be made available are unoccupied, undeveloped, or in a few cases, estate issues, in which the property owner has passed on.
The following properties are currently under tax sale consideration:
Parcel ID Location
044-420 Crocker Place
049-603 St. Mary’s Road
049-542 38 St. Aiden’s Road
207-291 O’Connell Drive
043-377 45 Burkes Road
043-032 6 Bond Street
045-643 710 Gearyville Road
050-244 41 Washington Street
048-855 26 Quinton Street
046-756 201 Humber Road
046-662 23 Humber Road
044-363 Country Road
049-606 10 Star Street
048-479 10 Pikes Avenue
*Properties listed without a civic address are vacant, undeveloped lots