March 7, 2014

Essex County tax sale on target

ELIZABETHTOWN — The first Essex County tax-foreclosure auction in six years is still on track for next month.

Essex County lawmakers were concerned that the death of auctioneer Edward Haroff might cause the sale to be canceled or postponed. But County Treasurer Michael Diskin recently told them he talked with Haroff’s wife, Linda, and the sale is still on.

Mr. Haroff died after suffering a fall in December 2013 while walking his dog.

Haroff Auction and Realty of Schroon Lake has enlisted the services of a new auctioneer, and the sale is still set to start at 11 a.m. Wednesday, April 30, at the Best Western Inn and Suites in Ticonderoga.

The county will put up about 130 building lots, acreage, camps, homes and commercial properties seized for nonpayment of property taxes for the years 2006, 2007 and 2008.

County Attorney Daniel Manning III recently told the County Board of Supervisors the county has done everything required by law  to sell the properties.

“Haroff will start moving with the auction,” he said. “They have a flier they will send out. We’re right where we should be.”

The foreclosure sale is expected to earn about $1.5 million for the county. The last full county tax sale was in November 2008; it sold $1.6 million in properties.

The auction service is photographing and cataloging the parcels now that will be in the 2014 sale. Specific property information will be posted on the Haroff website on March 30.

“They’re (the Haroff staff) actively doing their work,” Diskin said. “They’re preparing their brochure.”

Another sale later this year will cover the years 2009 and maybe 2010, Diskin said.

“We’ll do a second auction. If we get the ‘10s done, we’ll combine that.”

The county allows property owners to buy back their properties up to a week before the sale by paying the back taxes and penalties.

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