WILLIAMSTOWN -- The town experienced its highest number of properties close to being taken for delinquent taxes in at least a decade in fiscal 2012.
Janet Saddler, Williamstown treasurer and tax collector, said Friday that she will advertise 11 properties for tax-taking next week, which is the most she has had to advertise in her 11 years in the position.
"I have never sent out this many tax-taking notices at one time. It's typically between four and eight that get sent out," she said.
Those 11 properties represent $88,000 in revenue for the town, she said.
"It hasn't really impacted that town at this point," she said. "We still have money to operate."
The number of properties being advertised for tax-taking is less than the amount that didn't have taxes paid on them as of May 1. Williamstown taxes are billed semi-annually with payments due Nov. 1 and May 1.
According to Town Manager Peter Fohlin's July 23 town manager's report, 44 letters had been mailed to delinquent taxpayers advising them that the town would begin tax-taking proceedings if their payments weren't received before July 30.
"The current delinquency stands at $244,000 as compared to $88,000 at this time last year," the July 23 report stated.
Saddler said the delinquency amount has since decreased to $190,000, which includes the $88,000 owed on the 11 properties being advertised for tax-taking.
The difference of $102,000
Since May 1, the town has sent delinquent taxpayers their original tax bill, a friendly reminder, another letter saying they're at risk of tax-taking and a tax-taking notice, she said.
"Initially there were a large number of people who forgot, or had a situation in which they didn't have the money right away," she said.
While the notices include a date and time when properties will be taken, it doesn't mean the town owns them at that point, she said.
"I give people time to work it out, but if we reach spring of the following year and nothing has happened, I start the foreclosure process," she said.
In the meantime, a lien is put on the property, and the interest rate on the property's taxes increases from 14 to 16 percent, she said.
Saddler said she couldn't say exactly why the town had seen an increase in delinquent taxes from fiscal 2012, but it wasn't because of the economy.
"There were a couple circumstances we knew of where a person was in a nursing home, but other than that, I can't say," she said.
To reach Meghan Foley, email