Press-Republican

Local News

November 29, 2012

Clinton County expects tax auction of disputed properties to take place

(Continued)

“Potential bidders should also take note that Clinton County is no longer able to convey good title to any of the parcels being offered for auction. The prevailing bidder therefore risks losing his or her money to the county.”

Washburn said the lands in question were purchased as part of the trust, which is a private charitable foundation and thus not subject to taxation.

“... the trust is absolutely exempt from property taxation under New York state law, just as are schools, churches, museums and Indian reservation lands,” the news release said.

‘PEACEFUL SOLUTION’

Washburn said those living on the disputed lands have no intention of leaving, and the trust wants a peaceful resolution to the issue.

“A lot of options have been explored by a lot of people, and we are looking for a peaceful solution,” he said.

“Hopefully, the courts can be a way for that to happen.”

County Treasurer Joseph Giroux said earlier that the state had worked to find some kind of resolution to the issue, which was why it took so long to put the properties up for auction.

COUNTY DISCLAIMERS

Langley (R-Area 7, Peru) said the county has issued numerous notices about the sale that clearly say the lands are in dispute with the trust.

“We’ve had several disclaimers about that, so people should know,” he said.

Giroux said about $275,000 is owed in back taxes on the 11 properties. The lands are assessed at a total value of about $2 million.

“Our goal, naturally, is to put the properties back on the tax rolls,” Giroux said.

The auction will be conducted by Haroff Auction and Realty. Bids can be submitted live as each parcel is put up for sale.

Bidders must preregister by visiting Haroff’s website, www.harofflivebids.com.

Giroux said the website had more than 150,000 hits the first day the auction was announced.

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