JOE LoTEMPLIO Press-Republican
PLATTSBURGH — Clinton County legislators have agreed to accept the sale of seven of eight properties that sold for less than what was owed in taxes at the recent delinquent-property auction.
They will try again to sell one of those parcels in a test market.
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“Maybe there is another method to selling this property,” said Legislator Mark Dame (R-Area 8, City and Town of Plattsburgh).
The parcel Dame was referring to is a 45-by-120-foot vacant lot on the east end of Wallace Hill Road in the Town of Plattsburgh. It sold for just $300 in the June 5 auction. The taxes due on the property were about $8,323. The assessed value of the lot is $12,300.
“It just seems wrong to me that someone should lose their property for just $300,” Dame told the Press-Republican.
Taxes have been in arrears on the land for several years, County Treasurer Joseph Giroux said, but it was not auctioned by the county until this year because it was tied up in bankruptcy proceedings.
He said the property is small and in a location that is not conducive to development.
Dame said there might be a buyer out there who is willing to pay more than $300 for the parcel. He said some prefer shopping in settings other than a public auction.
He suggested an online auction or enlisting the services of a real-estate agent to try to get more for it.
“We can use this as a test,” he said.
Legislators agreed to try to re-sell the Wallace Hill property. They also agreed to accept the bids on the other seven parcels that did not fetch the amount of taxes that were owed on them.
About $60,000 was owed on the seven parcels, but one of them accounted for about $48,000. That property is a vacant lot at 93 Church St. in Champlain.
That land held a brick building known as the Meat Locker, which the county had to pay more than $30,000 to demolish. The amount was added to the tax bill.
Excluding that one, the county was owed about $12,000 on the other properties that sold for less than the taxes owed. The auction on those parcels took in only about $7,400.
Overall, the auction brought in a total of about $548,000 from the sale of 53 properties, which was about $287,000 more than the total amount of taxes owed.
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