The Portland City Council voted unanimously Monday to streamline the process for selling properties it has seized because the owners didn’t pay property taxes.
The new policy removes the council from the process of selling certain properties and eliminates a prohibition against selling a property if it would result in the displacement of a resident. It also would prevent an owner from entering into a payment plan after the city has acquired the property.
The goal of the program is to return nearly 100 properties to the tax rolls. The city’s inventory of tax-acquired properties is valued at $12 million, representing $500,000 in unpaid property taxes.
The new policy was implemented over the objections of Pine Tree Legal Assistance, a nonprofit law firm that helps low-income people.
Attorney Frank D’Alessandro urged the council to amend the proposal in ways that would keep