Press-Republican

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July 12, 2014

Essex County plans for next tax sale

Lawmakers hope to hold auction to collect back taxes

ELIZABETHTOWN — With one tax auction completed, Essex County lawmakers are hoping for a second this fall.

The April 30 sale of more than 100 properties seized for unpaid back taxes brought in about $1 million, around $500,000 short of estimates.

Many parcels went for far below the amount of taxes owed, and two sales — Frontier Town in North Hudson and vacant lots in Schroon — were rejected by the Essex County Board of Supervisors.

The Frontier Gas Station across from the Wild West theme park sold for $130,000, the top price in the sale, to Muhammad Ahmad of Schroon Lake, who said he intends to reopen it as soon as this month as a gas station and convenience store.

OWNERS ON NOTICE

Now, the county is preparing for another tax sale in late September or early October.

The notifications required by law to affected property owners have been made, County Attorney Daniel Manning III told supervisors recently.

“The next step now, 2009 taxes only, is to set a date,” he said. “Haroff can do it. I don’t see any glitches.”

The county contracts with Haroff Auction and Realty of Schroon Lake for its tax sales, which are held at the Ticonderoga Best Western Inn.

Manning said the title searches for unpaid taxes from 2010, ‘11, and ‘12 are not done, so those properties could be included in a sale next year.

SOME PAID OFF

Manning said they started with 215 parcels from 2009, and 125 of those delinquent property owners paid when they got notices, leaving 90 remaining to be sold.

He said the county gives owners until 14 days before the sale to pay up and reclaim their land, which many more will probably do between now and the sale.

“You might have 50 to 75 properties (in the auction),” Manning said.

He said the sales will likely be yearly now that the process has been refined. There had been a six-year gap between auctions when the one in April was held.

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