City of Taunton, MA
Bristol County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Municipal Council of the City of Taunton as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted 8-16-1988 (§ 2-14 of the 2010 Code)]
No land or interest therein belonging to the City of Taunton shall be conveyed, leased, encumbered or assigned except for full fair market value.
Before conveying any interest in City-owned or -controlled land, the City shall invite proposals by advertising at least once a week for two successive weeks in a newspaper having major circulation within the City. Said proposals shall be submitted in the form of sealed bids and shall be accompanied by an appraisal by a qualified appraiser who shall certify as part of his or her appraisal that he or she has no interest in the property, no current intention of purchasing it, and that his or her fee has been paid in full and is not contingent upon the success of the bid.
Each such bid shall be accompanied by a certified bank check in an amount not less than 10% of the bid, which check shall be payable to the City of Taunton.
The invitation to bid shall state that the City reserves the right to reject all bids and set forth such other conditions of sale, including time for performance.
The requirements of this article may be waived by a two-thirds vote of the Municipal Council for conveyances for civic, public or charitable purposes.
[Adopted 2-17-2004 (§§ 2-104.1 to 2.104.4 of the 2010 Code)]
The Tax Possession Agent shall dispose of foreclosed tax title property though the Abutter Lots Program, or through public auctions, to be held on a semiannual basis, or through transferring to the Committee on Public Property those parcels which are to be maintained by the City for municipal purposes and for which the Tax Possession Agent has received notice, in accordance with this article. The Tax Possession Agent can take these steps only upon approval of the Committee on Public Property.
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. II).
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
ABUTTER LOTS PROGRAM
A program developed to provide an abutting landowner with the first opportunity to acquire an abutting parcel foreclosed for tax title. Regulations for the program shall be promulgated and periodically published by the City Treasurer/Collector.
DECREE OF FORECLOSURE
A decree issued by the Land Court Department of the Trial Court of Massachusetts which forever bars all rights of redemption. MGL c. 60, § 69.
FORECLOSED TAX TITLE PROPERTY
Property for which the City has obtained a decree of foreclosure from the Land Court Department of the Trial Court of Massachusetts.
PARCEL ELIGIBLE FOR ABUTTER LOTS PROGRAM
A parcel for which a decree of foreclosure has been obtained by the Tax Possession Agent, which contains less than the minimum square footage requirement for a buildable lot, is located adjacent to a privately owned building on at least one side, is not needed for public open space or other public use, and is not part of a larger vacant parcel which will be developed. Abutter lots may be used only for a garden, side yard, landscaped open space, off-street parking, garage, or addition to abutter's existing structure.
The City Tax Possession Agent shall dispose of foreclosed tax title property eligible for the Abutter Lots Program in the following manner:
A. 
Within 15 calendar days from the date the Treasurer/Collector receives the decree of foreclosure, the Treasurer/Collector shall notify the Tax Possession Agent, who shall send a letter notifying the Mayor, Municipal Council and all City departments that the City has foreclosed on a parcel of property. The letter shall specify the approximate square footage and location of the property and shall further state that the parcel will be placed into the Abutter Lots Program unless the Tax Possession Agent receives written notification, within 30 days from the date the Treasurer/Collector's communication appears on the Municipal Council agenda, that the Mayor, Municipal Council or City department has a need for the parcel. Control of all parcels needed for a municipal purpose, which are to be maintained in the possession of the City as municipal property, shall be turned over to the City Committee on Public Property.
B. 
After the 30 days has expired, the Tax Possession Agent shall send a notice to the owner of record immediately prior to the acquisition by the City of the title to such property. Such notice shall contain a description of the property to be sold sufficient to identify it, shall state that the property has been placed in the Abutter Lots Program, and shall state the date, time and place appointed for the sale thereof and the terms and conditions of such sale, and shall be sent by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the address of such owner as appearing upon the records of the Assessors of the City, at least 14 days before the sale. The Tax Possession Agent shall also, not less than 14 days before such appointed date, post a similar notice in two or more convenient and public places in the City. The Tax Possession Agent may reject any and all bids at such sale or any adjournment thereof if in his/her opinion no bid qualifies under the request for proposal. After any such sale and upon payment by the purchaser to the City of the amount of a bid accepted by the Tax Possession Agent, the Tax Possession Agent, on behalf of the City, shall execute and deliver any instrument necessary to transfer the title of the City to any such property sold under this section. The deed shall contain a covenant, running with the land, limiting future use of the property to those uses permitted under the Abutter Lots Program. The Tax Possession Agent shall not execute any deeds for tax title property until the purchaser submits to the Tax Possession Agent a statement signed under the pains and penalties of perjury that neither he/she nor any person who would gain equity in the property as a result of such conveyance has ever been convicted of a crime involving the willful and malicious setting of a fire or of a crime involving the aiding, counseling or procuring of a willful and malicious setting of a fire, or of a crime involving the fraudulent filing of a claim of fire insurance, or is delinquent in the payment of real estate taxes to the City, or, if delinquent, that a pending application for abatement of such tax, or a pending petition before the Appellate Tax Board or the County Commissioners has been filed in good faith. If there is more than one grantee of such deed, each grantee must file such statement, and no such deed shall be valid unless it contains a recitation that the Treasurer/Collector has received such statement.
C. 
All parcels included in the Abutter Lots Program shall be offered for sale to qualified abutters, in accordance with the regulations governing the Abutter Lots Program.
D. 
All parcels for which a decree of foreclosure has been received by the Treasurer/Collector between January 1 and June 30 shall be auctioned in the following September. All parcels for which a decree of foreclosure has been received by the Treasurer/Collector between July 1 and December 31 shall be auctioned in the following March.
E. 
A parcel may be offered for sale through the Abutter Lots Program more than once. If a parcel has not been disposed through the Abutter Lots Program, it shall then be disposed in the same manner as tax title property, which is not eligible for the Abutter Lots Program. Notwithstanding the previous sentence, if the parcel has still not been disposed, it shall then be offered again through the Abutter Lots Program.
F. 
Notwithstanding the provisions of § 118-7, a lot acquired through the Abutter Lots Program may be combined with an adjacent lot also acquired through the Abutter Lots Program to form a combined lot. Said combined lot shall not be subject to the restrictions set forth in the restrictive covenant and may then be developed in accordance with the relevant provisions of the City of Taunton Revised Ordinances, provided that the combined lot satisfies then existing zoning, subdivision and building requirements without relief from the sections of Chapter 440, Zoning, regarding the front yard, side yard, rear yard, floor to area ratios, lot size, density or frontage. No other property may be considered as part of the combined lot in determining whether said combined lot satisfies the relevant sections of Chapter 440, Zoning.
The City Tax Possession Agent shall dispose of foreclosed tax title property which is ineligible for the Abutter Lots Program or has already been auctioned one time through the Abutter Lots Program in the following manner:
A. 
With the exception of property which has been already been bid through the Abutter Lots Program, within 15 calendar days from the date the Treasurer/Collector receives that decree of foreclosure, the Treasurer/Collector shall notify the Tax Possession Agent, who shall send a letter notifying the Mayor, Municipal Council and all City departments that the City has foreclosed on a parcel of property. The letter shall specify the approximate square footage and location of the property and shall further state that the parcel will be auctioned by the City Tax Possession Agent unless the Tax Possession Agent receives written notification, within 30 days, that the Mayor, Municipal Council or City department has a need for the parcel.
B. 
With the exception of property which has been already been bid though the Abutter Lots Program, after the 30 days has expired, the Tax Possession Agent shall send a notice to the owner of record immediately prior to the acquisition by the City of the title to such property. Such notice shall contain a description of the property to be sold sufficient to identify it, shall state the date, time and place appointed for the sale thereof and the terms and conditions of such sale, and shall be sent by registered mail to the address of such owner as appearing upon the records of the Assessors of the City, at least 14 days before the sale.
C. 
In addition to the notice provisions of Subsection B above, the Tax Possession Agent shall also, no less than 14 days before such appointed date, post a notice of all property to be auctioned, in two or more convenient and public places in the City, as well as in a newspaper of general circulation in the City of Taunton.
D. 
The Tax Possession Agent may reject any and all bids at such sale or any adjournment thereof if in his/her opinion no bid is made which approximates the fair market value of the property.
E. 
After any such sale and upon payment by the purchaser to the City of the amount of a bid accepted by the Tax Possession Agent, the Tax Possession Agent, on behalf of the City, shall execute and deliver any instrument necessary to transfer the title of the City signed by the Mayor pursuant to MGL c. 40 to any such property sold under this section. The Tax Possession Agent shall not execute any deeds for tax title property until the purchaser submits, to the Tax Possession Agent, a statement signed under the pains and penalties of perjury that neither her/she nor any person who would gain equity in the property as a result of such conveyance has ever been convicted of a crime involving the willful and malicious setting of a fire, or of a crime involving the aiding, counseling or procuring of a willful and malicious setting of a fire, or of a crime involving the fraudulent filing of a claim of fire insurance, or is delinquent in the payment of real estate taxes to the City, or, if delinquent, that a pending application for abatement of such tax, or a pending petition before the Appellate Tax Board or the County Commissioners has been filed in good faith. If there is more than one grantee of such deed, each grantee must file such statement, and no such deed shall be valid unless it contains a recitation that the Treasurer/Collector has received such statement.
F. 
All parcels for which a decree of foreclosure has been received by the Treasurer/Collector between January 1 and June 30, and all parcels remaining from the September abutter lots auction, shall be auctioned in the following October. All parcels for which a decree of foreclosure has been received by the Treasurer/Collector between July 1 and December 31, and all parcels remaining from the March abutter lots auction, shall be auctioned in the following April. Properties remaining after an auction would be readvertised for successive auctions until sold.