By Bob Katzen

The House gave initial approval to a bill that applies to cities and towns which have put a tax lien on a condominium property for the owner’s failure to pay property taxes. The measure allows cities and towns to collect, at the time of the foreclosure sale, any condo fees owed to the condo association, during the foreclosure process. Under current law, the city or town can collect only the back taxes but not the condo fees.

Sponsor Rep. Brian Murray (D-Milford) recounted a case in which several commercial condos in Milford were placed into tax title because of failure of the owners to pay taxes. He said it took six years until the property finally went to foreclosure, auction and sale. Following the sale, the condo association successfully sued the town for the back condo fees and the town had to pay $60,000 out of its pocket because under current law, it was precluded from recovering the condo fees in the foreclosure and auction process.

“I filed this bill to prevent such an occurrence from happening in the future, by providing a municipality the right to recover these [condo fee] costs as an addition to the tax title account and part of the terms of eventual redemption,” said Rep. Murray. “The bill seeks equity for cities and towns to be able to recover all known costs in situations where foreclosures of condominiums, which can take a great deal of time that translates into expense, become necessary due to the failure to pay real estate taxes.”

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