Springfield residents protest property auction - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Springfield residents protest property auction

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The city of Springfield held its tax-title auction of city properties Tuesday night. It did not go on without opposition.

Dozens of protesters showed up to City Hall. Some were even taken away in handcuffs.

They were there angry over the city taking away their homes.

Springfield resident Milton Forbes fought back tears at the thought of losing his home.

Forbes owes $6,000 in taxes on the home he's owned for 37 years.

He said the city told him he could pay $3,000, but because of his disabilities he was only able to come up with $1,600.

Now he's worried both he and his 13-year-old son may be forced to live on the streets.

"This is not OK. People who live in their houses for 25 years already paid for their homes and because of taxes, the city won't even negotiate with these people," said Springfield resident Solobia Hutchins.

The auctions are held four times a year and consist of both residential and commercial buildings that are confiscated by the city for non-payment of taxes.

In a statement issued to CBS 3, Springfield City Treasurer Stephen Lonergan said, "The objectives of tonight's auction is to get these properties back on the city's tax rolls, rehabilitated and owner occupied. The collection of taxes is critically important to the city, because taxes fund basic services that everyone relies on such as police and fire."

But Forbes said he needs more time and is willing to work with the city.

"I want to know if they will work with me still," said Forbes.

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