PLATTSBURGH — All 34 delinquent properties in Clinton County were sold at a public auction Wednesday morning.
The total of the sales was $365,800, exceeding the amount owed in taxes by $241,709.
Of the properties sold, 20 were residential units and 14 were vacant lots.
On 28 of the properties sold, the county received the amount owed in back taxes or more.
County Treasurer Kimberly Davis said that even the six sold that did not bring in what was owed came close.
"They were between about $400 and $3,000 under, which is better than it was in other years," she said.
County legislators must approve the sales that were less than the amount owed in taxes. They will vote on those at their meeting on Wednesday, June 12.
Winning bidders have 30 days to close on the property.
They cannot go onto the property until it is closed on.
Although the crowd of 83 registered bidders was a bit smaller than usual, Davis said it was a spirited auction.
"The auctioneer did a good job, and they were fantastic to deal with," she said.
The auction company was Absolute Auctions and Realty. It will get 11 percent of the sale price, with a 1 percent discount for deposits in cash or bank check, Davis said.
The $241,709 the county will receive for the sold properties will go into the general fund.
Last year, the county netted $379,980 from the sale of 45 properties.
"Even though we did not bring in as much money, it's good news because there were fewer properties auctioned off," County Deputy Administrator Rodney Brown said.
Delinquent property owners are given several warnings by the county, including a final 45-day period where bright yellow signs are placed on their property notifying them of possible foreclosure.
This year, the 45-day warning period ended April 24, six weeks before the auction.
Legislator Mark Dame (R-Area 8, City and Town of Plattsburgh), who has often criticized the process of auctioning off delinquent property because he feels people should not have their land taken away until the day of the auction, said the county does not want to make money on it.
"It is heartbreaking that some people do not take action because there is about $240,000 worth of equity that could still belong to people," he said at Wednesday night's Finance Committee meeting.
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