NAUGATUCK — The borough has acquired two pieces of land off of Auburn Street in lieu of back taxes with the intention of selling them.
Combined, the two lots are 1.84 acres. The parcels were part of McKinley Estates, a housing development on Auburn Street.
Mayor N. Warren “Pete” Hess said McKinley Developers, LLC, which owned the property, owed more in back taxes on the properties than the land is worth. The company owed about $60,000 in back taxes and the borough can expect to get about $35,000 for them, Hess said.
“The people were never going to pay and it was just sitting there, building up taxes. We couldn’t collect it,” Hess said.
Hess said the land will likely be sold at an upcoming sale with other properties the borough acquired either through foreclosure or forgiving back taxes.
Since he was elected in 2015, Hess has worked on getting pieces of property, which he calls remnant parcels, back onto the tax rolls. The remnant parcels either have large amounts of back taxes owed or have been forgotten about by the borough.
Hess pointed to a building at 176 North Main St., which the borough recently sold, as an example of the success of the remnant parcel program.
Hess said the building’s owner owed more in back taxes than it was worth and the borough took ownership of it last August. Vesel Nasufi, owner of Vinny’s Pizza, purchased the building in February, he said.
“If you drive by you will see they are fixing it up and making it a business. It is going to be a productive piece of property going forward,” Hess said.