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March 2, 2013

Town mulls unpaid-tax issue

MALONE — Malone will seek legal advice on how to collect 11 years of unpaid taxes on a privately owned building situated on town land.

The 1,746-square-foot airplane hangar in question is owned by Victor Fellion, who owes $11,655 on the building, according to the Franklin County Treasurer’s Office.

Taxes have not been paid since 2002.

County Real Property Tax Service records state the building, located at Malone-Dufort Airport, is assessed at $19,200, and its full-market value is $22,660.

PAYMENT PROCESS

Town tax payments are taken by the local tax collector until March 31, then any unpaid bills are turned over to the County Treasurer’s Office.

The county covers the bills to make the town whole, but it issues a chargeback to the municipality to recoup the money.

The shortfall must be made up in the following year’s town taxing process and spread across all its taxpayers.

According to the Treasurer’s Office, it doesn’t generally foreclose on government-owned property, but there is a complicated legal process that can be followed to do so. The chargeback issue is usually left to the town to resolve with its tenant.  

‘MORE WORK’

Recouping the money in this case was part of the supervisor’s report at the Dec. 19, 2012, Town Council meeting, but no board members commented, according to meeting minutes.

The issue was not on the agenda in January or on Feb. 13, but this week it was under board member/committee reports for Jack Sullivan, who serves on the Airport Committee.

He said he did not know how much Fellion owes but would be looking for his paperwork because “we’ve got more work to do on that.”

PARTIAL AMOUNT

Last week, Fellion gave Sullivan a check for more than $400, saying $150 was to pay for two months of back rent he owed on his airport-hangar lease.

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