Devils Island in danger of auction
Devils Island could be sold to the highest bidder because its owner has not paid taxes on the property.
The Halifax Regional Municipality released a list on Friday of 75 properties that may be sold if tax bills aren't straightened out.
"The property owner will be notified through a friendly reminder that two years taxes are in arrears and that failure to make suitable payment arrangements they would be moving forward up to and including tax sale action," said Jerry Blackwood, manager of revenue operations.
He said on average, 2,500 to 3,000 homeowners receive such notices from the municipality each year.
The 75 properties are a mixture of private homes and cottages, vacant lands and business buildings. Devils Island and Firebrand Island are the two islands on the list.
The minimum bid on the 11-hectare Devils Island is $5,500, equal to the taxes outstanding on the property.
Bill Mont, who owns the island, said he will try to pay his bill. Five years ago, he said, he came through with a last-minute payment to maintain ownership of the island.
While the city's goal is to recoup tax money, Blackwood said the city does not want to see people lose their properties.
"Our mandate with tax collection is to help the homeowner get their tax arrears in order and to remain in their homes," he said. "Obviously, it's a very sensitive situation."
If tax payments aren't made, the properties will be put up for auction in Dartmouth on Nov. 23.