By JOE LoTEMPLIO
---- — PLATTSBURGH — The deadline for paying back taxes on Clinton County properties is 5 p.m. today.
Those who do not make payments in time will have their property sold at auction on June 5.
“This is the final deadline, and there will be no excuses after that,” County Treasurer Joseph Giroux said.
“Some people have been calling about the deadline, so we will see how many come in.”
60 STILL DELINQUENT
Giroux said this week that about 60 properties still owe two years’ worth of taxes and are in danger of being auctioned off. Of those, about 10 are inhabited. The rest are mostly vacant lands.
The delinquent properties were put into foreclosure when County Judge Patrick McGill signed the order March 11.
In the past, the properties would be transferred to the county when the judge signed the order and owners could no longer make payments.
But this year, legislators agreed to give late-payers 45 days to make amends after the judge signed the foreclosure order.
Giroux said some have taken advantage of the extra time, but he suspects a number of properties will still be sold. Last year, the county auctioned 71 properties.
When the properties were put into foreclosure in March, yellow signs notifying owners that they were in danger of losing their land were placed on lawns and doors.
“I think the signs spurred some people to come in,” Giroux said.
Delinquent owners have also been notified by certified mail.
“They have been notified, and we hope they come in and take care of this because it is no fun to take someone’s property,” Giroux said.
Those paying between March 11 and today will be subject to a 10 percent penalty.
If they do not make payments, they can try to keep their property by bidding on it at the auction. The bidding starts at the amount of taxes and penalties owed.
Giroux said the auction listings should be ready by early May.
Legislator Mark Dame (R-Area 8, City and Town of Plattsburgh), who pushed for the extra 45 days, said he hopes late-payers can meet the deadline.
“At least the county did what good government should do and that is to accommodate its citizens as much as possible,” he said.
“If they don’t take advantage of this, then it is up to them.”
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