In Connecticut, the General Statutes have granted “super” priority status to certain types of municipal liens. As a result, these liens jump to the head of the priority line, even if your bank has a first-mortgage on the property. These liens include costs for property taxes, water and sewer assessments, violations of blight ordinances and a municipality’s costs in demolishing unsafe buildings.
Property Tax Lines: Under C.G.S. § 12-172, once a municipality establishes its grand list, the amount of the property tax on a property (including interest, fees and charges) shall be subject to a lien on said property. The lien exists from October 1st in the year previous to that in which such tax, or first installment thereof, became due until two years after such tax or first installment thereof became due. The tax collector can file a certificate of continuing lien on the land records to extend this period to fifteen years. During its existence, a tax lien will have priority over all transfers and encumbrances in any manner affecting the property.
Sewer Assessments and Water Charges: Under C.G.S. § 7-254, the amount of the delinquent municipal sewer assessments, plus interest, will become a lien on a property. This lien has priority over all other encumbrances except taxes and can be enforced in the same way as property tax liens. C.G.S. § 7-258 has similar provisions for delinquent sewer connection and use charges.
Violations of Blight Ordinances: Under C.G.S. § 7-148(c)(7)(H)(xv), municipalities are allowed to adopt ordinances to prevent housing blight and impose a fine of up to $100 per day for violations of these ordinances. C.G.S. § 7-148aa provides that the unpaid fines are a lien against the property that was the subject of the fine from the date that the fine was imposed. The lien takes priority over all other liens filed after July 1, 1997, except taxes.
Municipal Demolition Costs: Under C.G.S. § 49-73b, any municipality that has incurred expenses for the inspection, repair, demolition, maintenance, removal or other disposition of any real estate in order to secure such real estate, to remedy a blighted condition on such real estate or to make it safe and sanitary under any provision of the general statutes or any municipal building, health, housing or safety codes or regulations, has the right to recover such expenses from the owner of the real estate, by filing a lien on the property for such expenses. This lien takes precedence over all other encumbrances except taxes.