An estimated $8 million worth of buildings are going untaxed. How did it happen? And what’s to be done? Tax-paying residents gathered recently to discuss.
“Residents were animated by perceived unfair tax evasion by the owners, lost revenue for town maintenance and improvements, lack of adequate information for first-responders, pollution from suspected septic system inadequacies and disruptive influx of unexpected students arriving at Hartland Elementary School in September.
How do homes get built under the radar? Even without building permit requirements the information may be available — most new residents change their drivers’ license and registration addresses, register to vote, advise the post office where to deliver mail, get a telephone line installed, incur utility bills, file mortgage liens with their deeds and open bank accounts. Coordinating all the available information, resident John Bruno said, would be a good idea.
Hartland Volunteer Fire Department chief John Sanders addressed safety issues. Lack of accurate 911 addresses for undocumented dwellings makes responding to fires and health emergencies difficult and unsafe for responders, he said. He thinks education regarding regulations and safety is key.