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The Telegram
  • Delinquent taxpayers have two days to reclaim parcels

  • The county Legislature on Wednesday approved a resolution to allow delinquent taxpayers to reclaim their foreclosed parcels that would have otherwise been auctioned off in June.

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  • The county Legislature on Wednesday approved a resolution to allow delinquent taxpayers to reclaim their foreclosed parcels that would have otherwise been auctioned off in June.
    After an article appeared in The Telegram last week explaining the offer, the county attorney and treasurer offices have received 15 requests to reclaim parcels that had been seized under the tax foreclosure law, according to county officials.
    The offer allows a delinquent taxpayer to reclaim his parcel if he is willing to pay three times the 2008-09 unpaid taxes, interest and penalties, as well as the 2010 taxes.
    At the committee level, legislators discussed allowing the payments to be made up until June 4, the day before the county auction of foreclosed parcels.
    But the delinquent taxpayer would have to gain the county Properties Committee’s approval of his offer to pay the penalty prior to Wednesdays meeting. A special session of the Legislature would have to be called to accept any further parcels prior to the June 4 deadline.
    After reviewing the process, however, county Attorney Robert Malone recommended moving the payment deadline up to this Friday. Since potential bidders are able to inspect the tax foreclosed parcels on Monday, the committee felt any redemption by delinquent taxpayers would have to be made prior to the inspection, he said. The change was necessary to avoid having to pull any parcels from the auction after bidders had a chance to inspect them.
    The resolution to allow the redemption of foreclosed properties passed 15-1. Legislator Dennis Korce, R-Mohawk, added an amendment that set a deadline for payment of 4 p.m.
    Legislator Helen Rose, D-Herkimer, voted in opposition to the resolution.
    She voiced her concerns with a process that could allow for the quick sale of the parcel. As the county has published pictures of the parcels that are slated for auction, another party could make an offer above and beyond the penalty established by the legislature, Rose said.
    The county has held the local taxing jurisdictions, village and school district, harmless for the unpaid taxes and foreclosed on the parcel.
    While some of the parcels are not worth more than the unpaid taxes and penalties, there is a possibility of the county not getting its full worth for more valuable parcels, Rose argued.
    The county Legislature has been discussing the possibility of changing its approach to tax foreclosed parcels for the past almost two years.
    The “three times” penalty was established based on attempts by two delinquent taxpayers, in the towns of Webb and Frankfort, to reclaim their parcels.
    In other action:
    • The Legislature voted 14-2 to withdraw two parcels from the tax foreclosure auction.
    The city of Little Falls has expressed an interest in purchasing two parcels in the town of Fairfield on Beaver Road, according to the resolution.
    Page 2 of 2 - Each parcel has $1,500 in back taxes and penalties, according to Malone.
    Being adjoining properties to one of the city’s two watersheds, city officials are interested in taking control of the parcels, county officials said.
    The county had to pull the parcels from the auction in order to negotiate with the city Common Council for the potential sale of the parcel, Malone said. If the sale falls through, the county owns the property and is still able to sell it however it deems fit.
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