No tak­ers: Tax­pay­ers lose $200,000

The Glengarry News - - Front Page - BY SCOTT CARMICHAEL News Staff

South Glen­garry coun­cil has opted to vest the prop­erty on which a one-time pro­posed res­i­den­tial sub­di­vi­sion was to have been built af­ter re­ceiv­ing no pub­lic of­fers for the land.

The prop­erty, lo­cated north­east of Lan­caster Heights, was listed for sale on July 12, with a min­i­mum ten­der price of $212,851.25 – the out­stand­ing bal­ance, in­clud­ing taxes, in­ter­est and reg­is­tra­tion fees – ow­ing on the ac­count.

How­ever, the clos­ing date of Au­gust 9 ar­rived with­out any bids be­ing re­ceived.

“We ad­ver­tised it in the lo­cal news­pa­pers for four weeks, in the On­tario Gazette, on the On­tario Tax Sales web­site, and on our web­site,” town­ship trea­surer Mike Samson told coun­cil Au­gust 21.

“There were, I un­der­stand, 24 in­ter­ested par­ties that ap­plied for ten­der forms, but un­for­tu­nately, none of them came back.”

With the prop­erty fail­ing to change hands, Mr. Samson ex­plained that the mu­nic­i­pal­ity had two op­tions to con­sider.

“If we leave it as it is, the prop­erty will con­tinue to ac­crue taxes, and un­doubt­edly, in a few years, we’ll have to do this all over again, and it will just cost that much more,” he said.

“If we vest it to the town­ship, it be­comes ex­empt, non-tax­able. We can write off the taxes back to the Coun­ties, the school boards and the town­ship.”

Mr. Samson added that there would have been a ma­jor draw­back to that op­tion, point­ing out that the mu­nic­i­pal­ity would “still suf­fer a loss on the prop­erty, in­clud­ing the town­ship share of the taxes, the ac­crued in­ter­est and the reg­is­tra­tion fees.”

With prac­ti­cally no de­lib­er­a­tion, coun­cil chose the vest­ing route.

The tax write-off is bro­ken down as fol­lows: $45,739 to the Coun­ties of Stor­mont-Dun­dasGlen­garry; $39,773 to the town­ship; and $13,920 to the four boards of ed­u­ca­tion.

The mu­nic­i­pal­ity is also re­spon­si­ble for

$101,017 in in­ter­est charges, and $11,298 in reg­is­tra­tion fees.

As dis­cus­sion on the mat­ter con­cluded, Mr. Samson in­di­cated that coun­cil now had an­other pos­si­bil­ity to con­sider.

“Once the (vest­ing) process is done, in a week to 10 days, you have the choice, as a coun­cil, to put the prop­erty up for sale again at what­ever price you deem is rea­son­able,” he stated. “That would be some­thing that would need to be re­viewed.”

The Min­istry of Mu­nic­i­pal Af­fairs and Hous­ing is­sued draft plan ap­proval for the pro­posed 75-lot Lan­caster Es­tates Sub­di­vi­sion back in 1996.

But de­vel­op­ment of the prop­erty was im­peded by a num­ber of prob­lems over the en­su­ing two decades and the project never came to fruition.

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