PLATTSBURGH — Clinton County will sell 51 properties at its tax auction July 23.
The properties are being sold after the county foreclosed on them for nonpayment of back taxes.
“We are selling less than usual, and that’s good, but it’s still far too many properties that are being taken away by government,” said Clinton County Legislator Mark Dame (R-Area 8, City and Town of Plattsburgh), who chairs the county’s Finance Committee.
“I wish there was a better way, but the only better way I can see is to lower taxes so people can afford to keep their property.”
REDUCED FROM 84
Owners of the delinquent properties owed taxes from 2012, 2013 and 2014.
They became targeted for foreclosure when the courts declared them delinquent on April 29. At that point, owners had until June 13 to make payments in full.
When the court signed off, 84 delinquent properties were on the list.
The county put bright yellow signs on the lawns of the delinquent properties notifying them of the pending foreclosure, and each owner was sent numerous notices.
Taxes were paid on 33 of the 84 delinquent properties between April 29 and June 13.
ALMOST $323,000 OWED
Of the 51 properties left to be auctioned, the total amount of taxes owed is $322,943.59.
Up for sale are 18 homes, 28 vacant lots and 5 businesses.
The auction will be held on Wednesday, July 23, at the West Side Ballroom in Plattsburgh.
Potential bidders can register for the auction at a seminar to go over the ground rules; that is set for 6 p.m. Monday, July 21, also at West Side Ballroom.
Properties will be shown on July 22; a listing of those can be found at NYSAuctions.com.
If a property sells for less than the taxes owed, the final sale must be approved by the County Legislature, County Treasurer Kimberly Davis, explained.
The auction will be conducted by Haroff Auction and Realty Inc. of Schroon Lake and NY and Absolute Auctions and Realty Inc. of Pleasant Valley.
The auctioneers will keep 11 percent of the sale price — 10 percent if the payment is in the form of cash, money order or bank check. Credit cards will also be accepted.
Buyers must pay either $1,000 or 20 percent of the total sale price, whichever is higher, on the day of the auction.
Property owners can bid on their own properties, Davis said, but only if they do not owe back taxes on any other properties within the county or hold any liens on delinquent properties.
Dame said he understands that some people may be irresponsible and not pay their taxes, but he believes the problem is government.
“We have layers and layers of government in this state that we don’t need, and the taxpayers can’t afford it,” he said.
“This kind of economic model cannot sustain itself for the long term. People are going to leave this state until there is no one left.”
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