BENNINGTON — Nine properties were sold at the town's tax sale on Thursday, netting over $100,000 in delinquent payments and reducing the total amount owed by about 20 percent.
A total of 17 properties were up for sale, according to Town Manager Stuart Hurd. The town bid the minimum amounts on five of the eight properties which did not sell.
Overall, the morning's sale brought in $111,960. The total generated since the effort began more than three months ago could double that amount, Hurd said.
"Our total delinquency is just under $1.0 million," Hurd wrote in an email on Thursday afternoon in response to an inquiry. "This sale will reduce that by 20 percent."
A mix of residential and commercial properties, and open land were up for auction. All had multiple years worth of delinquent payments for property taxes, water and sewer fees, or some combination.
The property with the most back taxes owed did not sell, according to Hurd. The former CTC Corporation owes about $62,000 for property at 254 Benmont Ave. The entity dissolved in 2014 and owned the trade name Vermont Color Photo Lab, according to the Secretary of State's office.
"I would say we were successful," Hurd wrote in an email he also sent to Select Board members. "It is not something we like to do, but after a time, it becomes a necessity."
The town last held a tax sale in 2013. Hurd said the town typically proceeds with a sale when payments are more than one year old, the owner failed to make or keep an agreement to pay over time, and when amounts reach thousands of dollars.
The town notified the owners three months ago their property was being put up for sale. Initially, 26 properties were listed. Hurd said some owners paid in full and the properties were removed.
Hurd said the five properties on which the town bid are all single family homes with "little likelihood of redemption."
The homes' locations, the town's bid and assessed values from the preliminary 2016 grand list are: