Rutland late-payers owe city $2 million
By Gordon Dritschilo
Staff Writer | June 16,2013
Rutland City Treasurer Wendy Wilton says delinquencies are the highest she has ever seen.
As of June 6, the total for taxes, water, sewer and “general bills related to parcels” totaled roughly $2 million. Wilton said she intended to cut that by about two-thirds by December, and will send out notices of intent to tax sale next week.
“Water and sewer delinquencies have been creeping up,” she says. “Part of that is because water and sewer cost more. I think there are greater numbers of people delinquent and the delinquent bills are bigger.”
Wilton has noted an upward trend in delinquencies for some time.
“A lot of these delinquencies are really recent and people who haven’t been late in the past suddenly were,” she says. “People are struggling. The landlords — they’ve had a tough go of it. It’s been a tough economic environment, but given these numbers, we have to move forward with this. ... I’m putting it out there to make sure people understand the process.”
Parcels more than two years or $2,000 delinquent in taxes and/or water and sewer and those more than $1,000 delinquent on water and sewer alone will be subject to tax sale, which will likely take place in mid-July.
Owners still have one year from the date of tax sale to redeem the properties.
Wilton says she has a list of 270 properties, though she said she won’t disclose the list until letters to the property owners have gone out.
“Some of those are going to come off,” she says. “A lot of them are going to come off. The owner is going to step up and pay or the bank is going to step up and pay.”
Wilton also says the city’s anti-blight efforts will figure into the process.
“There are a couple properties on this list that are vacant, that are abandoned,” she says. “Those are going to be my top priorities.”
Meanwhile, Wilton says she and Public Works Commissioner Jeffrey Wennberg are planning a round of shut-offs of delinquent water and sewer accounts in August. That effort will target parcels delinquent by $1,000 or less.