BRATTLEBORO -- The former home of Renew Building Materials and Salvage Inc. is up for tax sale, with town records showing more than $17,000 in past-due taxes.
The company's headquarters at 16 Town Crier Drive is scheduled for public auction at 2:30 p.m. on Nov. 8 in the Selectboard meeting room at the Brattleboro Municipal Center, 230 Main St.
The winning bidder at a tax sale does not take immediate, legal control of a property. Rather, the sale allows time for the owner to repay both the taxes due and any associated fees.
"The property owner has up to 12 months to pay off the town and the bidder," said Patrick Moreland, who serves as Brattleboro's interim town manager and delinquent tax collector.
A representative of Renew could not be reached for comment.
Renew, a nonprofit that salvaged and resold building materials, was founded in 2005 and used a USDA Rural Development loan of more than $1 million to purchase the Town Crier Drive property, which is situated off Putney Road.
But Renew fell on hard times that were in part attributed to a stagnant economy and a slowdown in the construction business.
In a June Facebook post, Renew administrators asked for community support and said "years of economic distress have weakened our capacity."
The following month, Renew closed its doors. At the time, a member of the board said administrators were "looking for the most-responsible way to dissolve the business.
The property now is one of 14 parcels on Brattleboro's most-recent tax-sale advisory. A complete list is available for download at www.brattleboro.org.
The Renew property has by far the most taxes due at $17,311. With additional charges added, the grand total due is $20,083, records show.
The tax sale includes the former Renew building as well as 3.71 acres of property.
Property owners are notified by mail when taxes are delinquent, and there are public notices of an upcoming tax sale. Such sales are conducted in "auction format," Moreland said, with bidding starting at the amount of delinquent taxes plus fees.
"The town is, for example, allowed to cover the costs of advertising and any associated legal fees," Moreland said.
If there is a successful bidder, the town collects the taxes owed from his or her payment. Any additional revenue from the tax sale is placed in an escrow account.
That begins the 12-month period in which a delinquent property owner can repay taxes plus fees assessed by both the town and the winning tax-sale bidder.
Oftentimes, however, property owners settle their debt before a tax sale.
Of the properties currently on the town's sale list, "my guess is, a handful might get to tax sale, at most," Moreland said.
Mike Faher can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 802-254-2311, ext. 275.