Currently, Berlin residents can apply for a tax abatement program whereby they will pay a lower tax rate. However, a lien will be placed on their home, and should the home be sold or transferred in a will, the unpaid taxes must be paid in full.
"Nobody applies because nobody wants to put a lien on their property,” said Town Manager Jack Healy, noting that other towns have similar abatement programs without the lien stipulation.
So, Berlin’s Ordinance Committee has begun looking at ways to make this town program more appealing.
The committee also is discussing rewording another tax ordinance, which would benefit landlords.
Healy said a number of landowners have reached out to him complaining of leasees who left their properties with delinquent taxes, which then became the property owner’s responsibility.
The motion was unanimously passed to the Town Council, which will hold a public hearing and vote on the matter at a later date.
After complaints from residents concerned about neighbors parking on their lawns, the committee also discussed the possibility of banning or limiting parking on grass. No decision was made, however, as members plan to evaluate the issue and survey trouble locations.
Republican councilor Amy Maier Daniele said on tight or steep roads like Worthington Ridge where street parking is difficult or banned, driveways can fill up quickly.
"As opposed to parking on the road and clogging up the road, they are parking on the lawn. So I don't know if I necessarily have a problem with people parking on their lawn," she said. "I really am very much against telling people what they can do on their own property.”
“I just don’t like reaching the long arm of government,” said Democratic councilor Peter Rosso.