Yes, no one would deny that the Depot Crossing is an eyesore to the Town of Berlin; however, why should the Town of Berlin pay $850,000 for the Depot Crossing since that is the amount listed in Berlin’s property records as the sales price paid by the New England Capital Group, LLC on August 27, 2012?
Given an assessed value of $1,321,000, and given the projected mill rate of 29, that means annual property taxes of approximately $38,000. Are the owners of the property current with all of the taxes on the property?
Also since the property is blighted property, are not the owners liable for significant fines and penalties if the property is not improved in timely fashion to an acceptable condition? If the building is not corrected and fines and property taxes remain unpaid, the Town of Berlin ultimately could acquire the property by seizing it, right? Wouldn’t that be a lot cheaper than spending $850,000? What am I missing here?
So where is the logic of paying New England Capital Group, LLC the full sales price of $850,000 listed on the town’s records? If the property was worth $850,000 in its present condition, wouldn’t market forces have acted, resulting in its sale to interested developers? But the property has not sold. Doesn’t that imply much about its market value?
The citizens of the Town of Berlin should not be bailing out finance companies. Haven’t we learned anything from the recent bank bailouts? The building department and tax collectors should be taking appropriate measures and exerting sufficient economic pressure on the current owners of Depot Crossing to improve the property to an acceptable condition or sell it to an interested developer at its present market value rather than permit an indefinite holding in its present condition.
If the current owners prove unresponsive, fines, penalties, and seizure-of-property measures should force a more favorable resolution to the taxpayers of the Town of Berlin than a grant from a governmental agency, which is ultimately picked up by all taxpayers. Surely there are alternatives available other than paying the full sales price paid by the current owners.
Let’s make those who undertake these risks pick up their own tab for their losses. After all, isn’t this a free market? I don’t get any governmental bailouts. Do you?
I, for one, am sick and tired of bailing out banks and finance companies. It’s time for those who finance these investments to pick up their own tab.