Group led by former General Treasurer Caprio buys Farina property’s tax title

Group led by former General Treasurer Caprio buys Farina property’s tax title

NORTH PROVIDENCE – Dr. Anthony Farina now has one year to pay last year’s taxes on his Mineral Spring Avenue property or it will be handed over to a group led by former General Treasurer Frank Caprio.

Caprio raised the auction paddle at a town tax sale last Thursday, May 16, placing Fidelity Realty Associates LLC’s winning bid on Branting LLC’s tax title at 1830 Mineral Spring Ave. The purchase was for $72,497 in back taxes plus fees, bringing the total to $73,709.

Tax Assessor/Collector Tom Kane said Farina now has one year from May 16 to redeem the property.

The property at 1830 Mineral Spring Ave. includes Farina’s medical building and the lot next door previously occupied by a vacant building at 1840 Mineral Spring Ave. That building was demolished late last year after a lengthy legal battle between Farina and the town led to the doctor commissioning a caricature painting of Mayor Charles Lombardi wearing a crown and sitting on a toilet.

Lombardi told The Breeze he made a bid at acquiring the property just before last week’s auction, given its prime location at the intersection of Mineral Spring Avenue and Smithfield Road, but Town Solicitor Anthony Gallone told him such a move would have had to go to the council for approval. He said he regretted not thinking of going that route earlier.

The mayor said if he had to guess he would expect that Farina comes up with the money to buy the property title back within a year.

Farina has a long history of conflict with the town, including a dispute over a tax treaty he was seeking, accusations about the town using his building without his permission for fire training exercises, and heated court proceedings over whether his vacant building would be demolished.

As the building was knocked down last November, Lombardi held a press conference on the sidewalk where he accused Farina of “gross negligence” related to the building. As he spoke, with cameras running, a worker for Farina pulled back a plastic sheet to again unveil the caricature of the mayor.