TL 16-001739

April 17, 2019

Bristol, ss.



Plaintiff Tallage Lincoln, LLC has moved under G.L. c. 60, § 68 in this tax-title foreclosure action for a redemption-amount "finding." The case involves a residential property at 596 Maxfield Street in New Bedford, Massachusetts. Tallage holds a tax title on the property. Defendants Jessye L. Williams, Jesse Williams, III and George H. Wortham, Jr., the owners of 596 Maxfield (hereafter, the "Owners"), oppose including in the redemption amount two items sought by Tallage: the sum of the tax payments that Tallage made to the City of New Bedford for three years, after the City sold Tallage what had been the City's tax title in 596 Maxfield, and 16% interest on Tallage's tax payments. The Court agrees with the Owners.

The dispute arises as follows. In November 2011, the City took title to 596 Maxfield pursuant to G.L. c. 60, §§ 53 and 54, as the Owners hadn't paid their Fiscal Year 2011 real-estate taxes. Those taxes and other charges owed to the City totaled $2,957.16. The City's taking had several consequences. One consequence (set forth in id. at § 54) is this: "Title to the land so taken . . . thereupon vest[ed] in the town, subject to the right of redemption." (While § 54 and several other sections of c. 60 grant various rights solely to a "town," and still other sections grant rights to a "city or town" (or, sometimes, a "municipality"), the Supreme Judicial Court long has assumed that "town" under c. 60 also means "city." See Landers v. City of Boston, 267 Mass. 17 , 18-22 (1929); City of Boston v. Barry, 315 Mass. 572 (1944); City of Boston v. Gordon, 342 Mass. 586 , 593 n. 5 (1961); Kurtigan v. City of Worcester, 348 Mass. 284 , 286 n. 1, 287 & n. 5 (1965). See also G.L. c. 4, § 7, cl. Thirty-Fourth ("'Town,' when applied to towns or officers or employees thereof, shall include city.").) Various parts of c. 60 limn the contours of § 54's phrase, "right of redemption." It's a time-limited power held by "[a]ny person having an interest in land taken or sold for nonpayment of taxes . . . , or his heirs or assigns," id. at § 62, to pay the taxes, fees and charges owed on the taken property and receive in exchange a certificate that allows the redeemer, upon recording of the certificate, to extinguish the tax title. See id. at § 63; Hebda v. O'Brien, 6 Mass. App. Ct. 661 , 663 (1978).

A second consequence of a tax taking is this: the municipality gets to hold such title "until redemption or until the right of redemption is foreclosed as hereinafter provided, . . . as security for the repayment of said taxes with all intervening costs, terms imposed for redemption and charges, with interest thereon. . . ." G.L. c. 60 at § 54. The Court mentions this because in the years following the taking in this case, the Owners didn't exercise their right of redemption. As a result, their $2,957.16 in unpaid taxes and fees started accumulating various "intervening costs, terms imposed for redemption and charges," plus "interest thereon."

It's undisputed that during the time the City held a tax title to 596 Maxfield, the rate at which the Owners' redemption obligations accrued interest was 16%¸ as the first paragraph of id. at § 62 provides. In May 2016, pursuant to id. at § 52, and following notice to the Owners, the City assigned to Tallage the City's tax title in 596 Maxfield. Tallage is a private company whose business is to buy tax titles from municipalities and manage those titles for profit. See Edward J. Lewis LLC v. Keyes, 23 LCR 260 , 261-262 (2015) (Long, J.) (discussing potentially different incentives of municipal and for-profit holders of tax titles). Section 52 is one of two provisions in c. 60 that allow a municipality to sell a tax title to a third party. (The other provision is id. at § 2C. This Memorandum will say more about § 2C later.)

Section 52 and related provisions under c. 60 govern a § 52 assignee's rights and duties upon assignment. Tallage argues at one point that G.L. c. 106, § 3-201, plus the common law governing assignments generally, allow a § 52 assignee of a tax title to "stand in the shoes" of a municipality following assignment. Not so. Section 3-201 applies only to assignments of "negotiable instruments"; a tax title isn't one of those. See c. 106, § 3-104. What a municipality acquires via a tax taking likewise isn't an assignable common-law contract. Tax takings are a creature of statute, see Worcester v. Bennett, 310 Mass. 400 , 401 (1941), and an extension of the sovereign's powers, see Keyes, 23 LCR at 261-262. At common law, the sovereign's right to collect an unpaid tax was "incapable of assignment. . . ." Henry Campbell Black, Law of Tax Titles § 151 (1893). Tallage's rights as an assignee thus depend on what c. 60 provides.

By the time of the § 52 assignment to Tallage of 596 Maxfield's tax title, the $2,957.16 the Owners originally owed to the City had mushroomed to $22,901.97. While 16% is a generous interest rate (only 400 basis points shy of the rate that triggers the Commonwealth's criminal usury statute, G.L. c. 271, § 49), it doesn't come close to causing $2,957.16 to grow to $22,901.97 in the 4½-year span between November 2011 and May 2016. A bigger factor in the increase was the Owners' failure to pay their Fiscal Year 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 real-estate taxes. (On page 2 of the Owners' December 24, 2018 Memorandum, they admit their delinquency.) General Laws c. 60, § 50 provides that once a municipality obtains tax title to a property,

there shall be set up on the books of the town, . . . a separate account of each parcel of land covered by any . . . instrument [of taking], to which shall be charged the amount stated in the . . . instrument, the cost of recording the same, and, upon certification in accordance with section sixty-one, all uncollected taxes assessed to such parcel for any year subsequent to that for the taxes for which such parcel was purchased or taken, with all legal costs and charges thereon, including interest accrued up to the date of such certification, until redemption, foreclosure or assignment.

As § 50 hints, c. 60, § 61 describes how municipalities may include in the redemption amount subsequent unpaid taxes. (This Memorandum will use the shorthand "subsequent taxes" to refer to unpaid real-estate taxes assessed to a property after it has been taken for taxes. Assume that "subsequent taxes" are unpaid unless this Memorandum notes otherwise.) Section 61 explains (in the language emphasized below) why § 50 requires municipalities to set up accounts for subsequent taxes on properties they've taken: because once a municipality holds a property as security for unpaid taxes, there's no point in having the municipality "re-take" the property in later years for subsequent taxes:

Whenever a town shall have . . . taken real estate for payment of taxes the lien of the town on such real estate for all taxes assessed subsequently to the assessment for payment of which the estate was . . . taken shall continue, and it shall be unnecessary for the town to take . . . said real estate for non-payment of said subsequent taxes, costs and interest; and on redemption from such taking . . . , said subsequent taxes, costs and interest shall be paid to the town, and the payment shall be made a part of the terms of redemption, except that if any of the said subsequent taxes have not been certified by the collector to the treasurer to be added to the tax title account, then redemption may be made by payment only of the amount of the tax for which the estate was . . . taken and of such subsequent taxes as shall have been so certified, together with costs and interest. The collector shall certify to the treasurer not later than September first of the year following that of their assessment all subsequent taxes which become part of the terms of redemption and the treasurer shall give him a certificate stating that the amount or amounts have been added to the tax title account or accounts and the collector shall be credited as if the tax had been paid in money. . . .

See also Landers, 267 Mass. at 19 ("The purpose of the statute is twofold: (1) To relieve the city or town from redeeming land which it has purchased for payment of taxes from the paramount lien which arises from taxes assessed after those for the collection of which the sale was made; and (2) to save to the taxpayer and owner the costs and expenses which are an incident of any sale for subsequent taxes.").

Thus, of the $22,901.97 due on 596 Maxfield as of the date the City auctioned its tax title to Tallage, $15,204.72 was for unpaid taxes. Only $7,697.25 represented accrued interest. As § 52 requires, Tallage paid the City the accumulated balance of all unpaid taxes and interest owed on 596 Maxfield in exchange for an assignment of the City's tax title to the property. The document accompanying the assignment stated that the Owners still had a chance to redeem 596 Maxfield, but the redemption amount now was $22,901.97.

So starting in May 2016, Tallage held the tax title on 596 Maxfield. Six months later, Tallage filed suit in this Court under c. 60, §§ 65-75, to foreclose on the Owners' right to redeem 596 Maxfield. Neither the assignment of 596 Maxfield's tax title to Tallage nor the filing of the foreclosure suit convinced the Owners to pay their real-estate taxes. Instead, Tallage paid 596 Maxfield's tax bills for fiscal years 2016, 2017 and 2018. Those taxes totaled $10,701.22.

While the Owners continued to skip paying their real-estate taxes, they did answer Tallage's foreclosure complaint. They also claimed the right to redeem the title to 596 Maxfield by paying whatever redemption amount the Court determined. In October 2018, Tallage moved for a finding under c. 60, § 68 that the Owners' redemption amount should include (a) the unpaid taxes for fiscal years 2011-2015, plus whatever interest and fees had accrued as of the date Tallage bought the City's tax title; (b) the subsequent taxes Tallage paid on 596 Maxfield for fiscal years 2016-2018; and (c) with respect to the latter taxes, interest at 16%.

The Owners don't dispute that the redemption amount should include item (a). They object to paying items (b) and (c), arguing there's no statutory authority for allowing those sums to be rolled into 596 Maxfield's redemption amount. Tallage begins the justification of its request for items (b) and (c) by conceding that c. 60 doesn't address specifically either the powers of a § 52 assignee to pay taxes subsequent to assignment of a tax title or a § 52 assignee's right to recover those payments (plus 16% interest) by adding them to the property's redemption amount. One could stop the analysis there. While "[s]tatutes are to be interpreted, not alone according to their simple, literal or strict verbal meaning, but in connection with . . . the system of positive law of which they are a part," Commonwealth v. Welosky, 276 Mass. 398 , 401 (1931), "[t]he principal purpose of c. 60 is to ensure that the city will receive the taxes owed to it, with due observance of the provisions of the chapter made for the protection of the interests of taxpayers." Brown v. City of Boston, 353 Mass. 740 , 742 (1968). "[T]he long standing policy in this Commonwealth favors allowing an owner to redeem property taken for the nonpayment of taxes." Town of Lynnfield v. Owners Unknown, 397 Mass. 470 , 473-74 (1986). To that end, c. 60, "'being remedial in nature,'" must be interpreted liberally in favor of a person seeking to redeem a taken property – in this case, the Owners. Town of Lynnfield, 397 Mass. at 474, quoting Union Trust Co. v. Reed, 213 Mass. 199 , 201 (1912).

Brown, Town of Lynnfield, and Union Trust thus counsel against the courts declaring rights for § 52 assignees that c. 60 doesn't expressly mention. Moreover, the discussion in Snow v. Marlborough, 301 Mass. 422 , 426-427 (1938), of c. 60, §§ 50 and 61's provisions regarding the addition of subsequent taxes to municipal tax-title accounts (and, by extension, to the redemption amount) indicates that the courts should construe §§ 50 and 61 strictly. And strictly read, §§ 50 and 61 impose only on cities and towns (and not § 52 assignees) the obligation to create accounts for recording subsequent taxes, and extend only to cities and towns (and not § 52 assignees) the ability to certify subsequent taxes to those accounts and have those subsequent taxes added to the redemption amount.

History suggests that the General Court deliberately did not require § 52 assignees to create tax-title accounts, and did not intend to afford § 52 assignees the power to add to the redemption amount subsequent taxes the assignee paid. The earliest statute that mentions assignment of "tax titles" appeared in 1862. See St. 1862, c. 183 (the "1862 Act"). "Assignment of tax titles" had a narrow meaning then. The first four sections of the 1862 Act addressed the status of properties taken for taxes when two misfortunes befell a municipality: (a) when, at the time of a tax collector's public sale of the taken property, no one cared to bid on it; and (b) when the collector had held a successful sale, but the winning bidder later defaulted. In both instances, the 1862 Act deemed the municipality to be the purchaser of the property. See id. at §§ 1-3. It's in that context that § 4 of the 1862 Act then provided this:

The deed given to a town or city under the provisions of this act shall be placed in the custody of the treasurer thereof. . . . And the several towns and cities of the Commonwealth may make such regulations for the custody, management, and sale of such estates, and the assignment of the tax titles thus obtained, not inconsistent with the laws of the Commonwealth, as they may deem expedient. . . .

The 1862 Act's concept of "assignment of tax titles" was the only type of title assignment under mentioned in c. 60 or its predecessor chapters for the next 75 years. See P.S. 1882, c. 12, § 43; St. 1888, c. 390, § 51; St. 1889, c. 334, § 14; R.L. 1902, c. 13, § 52; St. 1909, c. 490 Part II, § 53; St. 1918, c. 257, § 51. The 1921 version of the General Laws placed the 1862 Act's "assignment of tax titles" language (with slight amendments) into G.L. c. 60, § 52. The phrase still possessed its 1862 meaning: "Deeds to a city shall be placed in the custody of its collector, and to a town in the custody of its treasurer. Cities and towns may make regulations for the possession, management and sale of such land and for the assignment of tax titles, not inconsistent with law or the right of redemption." Id.

In 1927, the legislature struck from G.L. c. 60, § 52 (1921 ed.) its first sentence, leaving this: "Cities and towns may make regulations for the possession, management and sale of such land and for the assignment of tax titles, not inconsistent with law or the right of redemption." That's all that c. 60 said about "assignment of tax titles." But that changed as a result of three events in 1936.

City of Lowell v. Marden & Murphy, Inc., 321 Mass. 597 (1947), describes the first event. Prior to 1936, G.L. (Ter. Ed.) c. 59, § 11, allowed local authorities to send real-estate tax assessments not only to the owner of record of a property, but also to the holder of that property's tax title prior to foreclosure of the owner's right of redemption. In February 1936, the legislature limited the sending of assessments to only the owner of record. See Marden, 321 Mass. at 600; St. 1936, c. 92. The leading commentator on Massachusetts tax law in the early twentieth century, Philip Nichols, wrote that as a result of the repeal, "the tax title is not recognized in subsequent assessments until foreclosure." Philip Nichols, Taxation in Massachusetts, 268 (3d ed. 1938).

(A brief aside in praise of attorney Nichols's treatise. A reviewer of the 1922 edition of treatise wrote this:

Though the reader of this volume will be inclined to enter upon no encomium of Massachusetts for her system of taxation, he will feel kindly toward Mr. Nichols for a handbook which might well close with saying, "There she is. Behold her, and judge for yourselves." The reasons for the patchwork and the details of it are well set forth. For Massachusetts lawyers the work must be a boon. For others, too, it has value.

Thomas Reed Powell, Book Review, Taxation in Massachusetts, 23 Colum. L. Rev. 509 (1923). Mr. Powell's praise of the treatise was appropriate. A Westlaw search reveals that, as of the date of this Memorandum, no fewer than 74 decisions of the Supreme Judicial Court have relied on Nichols's book.)

The next event occurred the same day as the first. After the legislature eliminated the power of local tax authorities to send assessments to those holding merely a tax title, the legislature inserted into c. 60 (via St. 1936, c. 93, "An Act Relative to the Sale or Taking of Real Estate for Non-Payment of Taxes After An Assignment By a City or Town of a Tax Title Affecting the Same" (hereafter, the "February '36 Act")) the first language bearing on "assignments" of tax titles that had nothing to do with deeds obtained by a municipality in the two circumstances addressed in the 1862 Act. The February '36 Act added to c. 60, § 50 the requirement that a municipality charge various items to a property's tax-title account (such accounts having been required only since 1927, see St. 1927, c. 126, § 2) "until redemption, foreclosure or assignment. . . ." February '36 Act, § 2 (emphasis added, denoting amended language). The February '36 Act also added to the end of c. 60, § 60 this sentence, a sentence that survives in today's § 60: "A city or town which has assigned a tax title held by it shall, after such assignment, have all the rights and powers to take or sell the real estate affected thereby, for the non-payment of taxes, which it would have possessed had said city or town never been the holder of said tax title." February '36 Act at § 1. This Memorandum will say more about this clause later.

The third critical event came in June 1936, when the legislature adopted St. 1936, c. 392, "An Act Relative to the Assignment of Tax Titles" (the "June '36 Act"). The June '36 Act struck the single-sentence version of § 52, with its cryptic mention of "assignment of tax titles," and replaced it with the core of the current version of § 52. Revised § 52 provided detailed rights, duties and obligations incident to a more robust notion of assignment and transfer of tax titles. See June '36 Act at § 1. But the June '36 Act revised more than § 52. The Act also rewrote what was then (and still is now) c. 60, § 62. See June '36 Act at § 2. Revised § 62 was to govern thereafter how a person could redeem a property "prior to the filing of a petition for foreclosure" under § 65. (At page 5, footnote 3 of its December 5, 2018 brief, Tallage points out that one calculates the redemption amount currently required for findings under § 68 in part by looking at what § 62 provides.) Revised § 62 included three new, specific formulas for the redemption amount. The applicable formula depended on the circumstances in which redemption was sought.

The first redemption scenario under revised § 62 is where "land has been taken or purchased by the town and has not been assigned. . . ." (Emphasis added.) Where there has been no assignment, the first paragraph of revised § 62 describes the redemption amount as

the amount of the tax title account of the land being redeemed, and interest at sixteen per cent upon the original sum for which the land was taken or sold, from the date of sale, and upon each sum [of subsequent taxes] certified in accordance with section sixty-one, from the date of certification, together with all charges lawfully added to the tax title account of such land subsequently to such taking or sale. . . .

The second paragraph of revised § 62 describes what happens in a second redemption scenario. That's where the proposed redeemer is "a purchaser, other than the town, his legal representatives or assigns. . . . " (For reasons that will become even clearer in a moment, revised § 62's "purchaser" was not a mere "assignee" of tax title: a "purchaser" was someone who had bought a deed to the taxpayer's property at a sale conducted by the local tax collector. See G.L. (Ter. Ed.) c. 60, §§ 37, 40-47; see also Nichols, Taxation in Massachusetts at 391-403.) Under revised § 62, in "the case of a purchaser, other than the town," the redemption amount is "the original sum and intervening taxes and costs paid by him and interest on the whole at said rate," now sixteen percent. Revised § 62 assumes that the purchaser may have paid intervening subsequent taxes because c. 59, § 11 required in 1936 (and still requires now) that municipalities assess taxes to the owner of record as of a specific date (in 1936, as of April 1, see G.L (Ter. Ed.) c. 59, § 11; in more modern times, the § 11 assessment date is January 1). Revised § 62 thus provided that "purchasers" could include in the redemption amount subsequent taxes assessed to and paid by the purchaser.

Revised § 62's third scenario, also addressed in the second paragraph of revised § 62, is where "an assignment of a tax title has been made by the town. . . ." That revised § 62 specifically addresses a scenario involving "an assignment of tax title," and treats that situation as different from one involving a "purchaser, other than the town," further illustrates why one must read revised § 62's second and third redemption scenarios as distinct. Otherwise, there'd be no purpose in the legislature treating the two situations differently. See Commonwealth v. Woods Hole, Martha's Vineyard & Nantucket S.S. Authy., 352 Mass. 617 , 618 (1967) (statutes should not be construed so as to render any of their provisions superfluous). Adoption of revised § 62 also made the holding of a pre-1936 redemption case, Chadwick v. Cambridge, 230 Mass. 580 (1918), beside the point, at least with regards to assignees of tax titles.

In revised § 62's third scenario, assignees of tax title expressly receive a smaller redemption amount than those in the other two scenarios: in scenario three, the redemption amount is that "stated in the instrument of assignment with additional interest on the principal amount at said rate from the date of assignment." Why the difference in treatment? Because of the change described in Marden: by June 1936, municipalities could no longer send to the holders of tax titles assessment notices for subsequent taxes. It stands to reason that, since an assignee of a tax title after early 1936 had no legal duty under c. 59 or c. 60 for paying subsequent taxes, an assignee didn't need the power (and, reading the entirety of the June '36 Act, wasn't given the power) to add subsequent taxes to the redemption amount.

Tallage has two responses to the argument that § 52 assignees can't add to the taxpayer's redemption sum subsequent taxes paid by the assignee. Tallage first directs the Court to the last sentence of § 52, as § 1 of the June '36 Act revised it. That sentence says:

Except as hereinafter otherwise provided, all provisions of law applicable in cases where the original purchaser at a tax sale is another than the city or town shall thereafter apply in the case of [a § 52] assignment, as if the assignee had been a purchaser for the original sum at the original sale or at a sale made at the time of the taking and had paid to the city or town the subsequent taxes and charges included in the sum paid for the assignment. . . .

Tallage argues that this language puts a § 52 assignee on the same footing as a "purchaser, other than the town," who paid subsequent taxes; those "purchasers" (per the second of revised § 62's redemption scenarios) are entitled to roll payments of subsequent taxes into the redemption amount. The flaw in Tallage's argument is that it overlooks the opening clause of the sentence Tallage cites. It says, "Except as hereinafter otherwise provided. . . ." Revised § 62, which the legislature adopted at the very moment it adopted revised § 52, "otherwise provides" for how one calculates the redemption amount applicable to § 52 assignees of tax titles.

Tallage's second argument speaks more to policy. Tallage contends that failing to infer from c. 60 an obligation on the part of § 52 assignees of tax titles to pay subsequent taxes, and a corresponding right to add such payments to the redemption amount, puts § 52 assignees at risk of a subsequent taking by the municipality. That's true. When a municipality assigns a tax title under § 52, two things happen. First, §§ 50 and 52 require the municipality in essence to close out the tax-title account for the taken property and charge the final balance (as the City of New Bedford did here) to the § 52 assignee. The second result of a § 52 assignment is that, from the perspective of tax collection, the municipality gets to start fresh with the taxpayer. That's apparent from id. at § 61, the statute that requires municipalities to set up tax-title accounts.Recall from this Memorandum's earlier discussion of § 61 that its last sentence says this (emphasis added): "A city or town which has assigned a tax title held by it shall, after such assignment, have all the rights and powers to take or sell the real estate affected thereby, for the non-payment of taxes, which it would have possessed had said city or town never been the holder of said tax title." That means that if a property owner fails to pay property taxes assessed after the date of a § 52 assignment of tax title, the municipality has the right to take title to the property a second time. And that indeed puts the assignee of the first tax title at risk of having its title wiped out by a second taking. See c. 60, § 64; Buk Lhu v. Dignotti, 431 Mass. 292 , 296 (2000).

Tallage argues that no § 52 assignee in its right mind would risk a second taking, and thus as a practical matter an assignee always will pay a subsequent tax. Tallage contends that the only way a § 52 assignee may recover those payments under c. 60 is by adding them to the redemption amount. Not so. Chapter 60, § 60, charts a path for a § 52 assignee to preserve its tax title and recover whatever subsequent taxes the assignee pays. Section 60 provides in pertinent part (emphasis added):

If a person other than the owner of the fee rightfully pays the taxes assessed on land to the collector or treasurer, before a taking or sale, the collector or treasurer shall at the request of the person so paying give him a certificate of such payment stating the name of the person to whom the land is taxed, of the person paying the tax, and a substantially accurate description of the land. Such collector or treasurer shall charge one dollar for each certificate so issued, and the money so received shall be paid into the town treasury. Such certificate being recorded in the registry of deeds within thirty days from its date shall be notice to all persons of such payment and of the lien therefor. . . .

One could argue that one can't use § 60 in the successive-taking scenario that this Memorandum has sketched out: after all, if there has been a first taking (the one that results in a later § 52 assignment of tax title), how can one rightfully pay taxes "before a taking or sale" and avoid a second taking? The Court interprets the phrase "before a taking or sale" in the first sentence of § 60 as describing a "taking or sale" that arises specifically from what that same sentence describes as the "taxes assessed. . . ." Thus, if a § 52 assignee wishes to retain the priority of its tax title, the assignee can pay subsequent taxes and, in the manner provided in § 60, record a lien.

The Court finds support for its reading of § 60 in two corners. First, attorney Nichols advances the same interpretation. Here's some of his commentary on § 60:

When there are different estates and interests in a parcel of real estate and there is no express agreement among the holders . . . in regard to the payment or apportionment of the tax, and the general owner to whom the tax is assessed does not pay the tax and the collector is about to levy on the land, the holder of one of the other estates or interests may be obliged to pay the tax to protect his interest. In such a case he should in justice be allowed to call upon the holders of the other interests for reimbursement or contribution, and as the failure to pay the tax would generally indicate impecuniosity on the part of the person assessed, in most cases the rights of the person paying the tax would not be fully protected without some greater security than a mere personal right of action against the delinquent. Accordingly we find the matter regulated by statute. . . .

Nichols, Taxation in Massachusetts at 413 (emphasis added). Nichols believed that § 60 covered all situations in which the holder of an interest in a property, other than the fee owner, paid outstanding taxes unless other laws established different lien rights. See Nichols, Taxation in Massachusetts at 413. Nichols says nothing that suggests that a § 52 assignee wouldn't be eligible to claim a § 60 lien for payment of subsequent taxes on a property to which the assignee holds tax title.

The facts of this case provide a second source of support for the Court's reading of § 60. Each time that Tallage paid subsequent taxes to the City of New Bedford, Tallage received and recorded a "Certificate of Tax Payment Pursuant to MGL CH. 60, § 60." See Certificate of Tax Payment, Bristol (South) Registry of Deeds (the "Registry"), Book 11707, Page 300 (certificate for FY 2016 taxes); Certificate of Tax Payment, Registry, Book 12146, Page 259 (certificate for FY 2017 taxes); Certificate of Tax Payment, Registry, Book 12495, Page 212 (certificate for partial FY 2018 taxes); Certificate of Tax Payment, Registry, Book 12580, Page 312 (certificate for partial FY 2018 taxes). Tallage thus knew (or should have known) that § 60 governed its rights to collect its payments of subsequent taxes. And a § 60 lien is just that: a lien, one that bears interest at whatever rate liens do. It's not an add-on to the § 68 redemption amount, nor does it bear 16% interest under c. 60.

So the Court agrees with the Owners that Tallage may not add its payments of subsequent taxes, or 16% interest thereon, to the redemption amount for 596 Maxfield. One caution: this Memorandum has addressed subsequent taxes in the context of assignments of tax titles under § 52. The Court noted earlier a more recent statute, codified in c. 60, § 2C, that creates a different system for assignment and collection of what § 2C calls "tax receivables." Tallage admits it did not acquire its tax title to 596 Maxfield pursuant to § 2C, and thus this Memorandum hasn't analyzed how § 2C addresses subsequent taxes. The Court leaves that analysis to another day.

The Court thus DENIES Tallage's motion for a § 68 finding, without prejudice, for the reasons set forth in this Memorandum. The Court ORDERS Tallage to file by May 17, 2019 a renewed motion for a § 68 finding, one that includes an updated statement of the principal, interest and other charges Tallage contends should be included in a redemption finding under c. 60, § 68, but excludes taxes Tallage has paid subsequent to the date of the City of New Bedford's assignment of the tax title for 596 Maxfield and any interest on those payments. Tallage's submission of a renewed motion for a § 68 finding shall be without prejudice to Tallage's right to appeal, at the appropriate time, the rulings set forth in this Memorandum.