Stuck paying the tab



Medford resident Mitch Mertens shows the city council a letter informing him a past-due utility bill would be placed on his taxes. Mertens purchased the previously bank-owned property in August and argued that he should not be responsible for the prior owner’s unpaid bills.
Property owner objects to being forced to pay the previous owner’s bills

A Medford property owner is being forced to pay utility bills from before he owned the property.
During a public hearing at Tuesday night’s city council meeting, resident Mitch Mertens asked for relief from having to pay the approximately $830 bill for overdue utilities. Mertens had purchased the bank-owned property through a private sale in August and at the time of the purchase there was no public record of any liens against the parcel.
Mertens said he was not told of any outstanding balance when he contacted city hall after the purchase to have the utilities turned on and transferred to his name. It was only when he received a “second notice” statement in mid-October informing him that the city would levy the unpaid balance as a special tax assessment plus a 10% penalty against the property that he said he became aware of it.

See the complete story in this week's issue of The Star News.

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