Friday, May 18, 2007

Tax Lien Sale Coming Up

Yesterday’s Courier News contained a $9,000 tax lien sale ad that might have been a few thousand dollars cheaper if lines noting square footage had not been included. Normally, these notices list only the block and lot, name of owner, address and the type and amount of taxes amount owed on each property. The additional lines pushed the notice to three full pages.

The June 7 tax lien sale will be the first conducted by the city’s new tax collector, Marie Glavan. For many months, the city has been getting by with a part-time tax collector. David Marshall, the fulltime tax collector in Orange, served Plainfield only on Wednesdays.

The tax lien sale in past years has been a source of revenue to help balance the budget. Successful bidders on the debts pay the city the taxes owed and then the debtor owes the lien holder the back taxes with up to 18 percent interest. But this year, nearly all the amounts are for sewer taxes owed to the Plainfield Municipal Utilities Authority.

It is always interesting to see who turns up on the list. Several city officials and employees, attorneys, a judge, prominent real estate brokers, a state official, school district employees and some churches are listed. In fairness, the amounts cited may be due to oversights or unsettled disputes.

Bidders must register by May 31 to take part in the tax lien sale. This year’s notice says that instead of four newspaper notices, there will be two. The other notices will be mailed directly to each owner and the cost will be added to the sale price.

Any liens not sold will revert to the city and may be charged 18 percent interest, according to the notice.

--Bernice Paglia


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