| Times Herald-Record
MONTICELLO – After being delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic, Sullivan County’s annual tax foreclosure property auction will take place Oct. 20 and 21.
This year’s auction will be conducted entirely online.
County Treasurer Nancy Buck does not know how much the proceeds might offset the county deficits created by the pandemic, but she said, “just getting some cash flow in will be great.”
Unlike some government auctions, the county’s does not include a requirement that the minimum price paid be at least the amount of the outstanding taxes.
Also, Buck said there is always the possibility that a lot of the smaller parcels will not sell.
The auction catalog includes 276 properties, with a large majority of those — 194 — being vacant residential properties.
There are 31 single-family homes, seven manufactured home parcels and four vacant commercial lots.
The latter properties, three of them in Liberty and one in Fallsburg, have a total estimated fair market value of just under $60,000.
There are also 40 properties under the “no category” label.
That category includes everything from a two-story seasonal residence in Mamakating built in 1936, with a fair market value of $49,661, to what appears to be a one-story commercial structure, rather dilapidated, with a fair market value of $156,486.
Buck noted that the county first must make municipalities and school districts whole on the taxes owed to them, with whatever is left going into county coffers.
Buck was not aware of any properties that stood out from the crowd in this year’s auction. She said the county extended the time for owners to pay their taxes and repurchase their properties through Aug. 31, and 150 were reclaimed this year.
“We actually like it when that happens,” she said.
Buck is urging all bidders, including those with a lot of experience with past auctions, to fully familiarize themselves with the unique aspects of the online-only auction. The catalog at https://aarauctions.com/servlet/Search.do?auctionld=3719 includes a link to sign up for an online bidders seminar.
Bidders also need to do their homework, Buck said, and learn everything about all the properties they are interested in, including any outstanding liens or assessments like unpaid water and sewer bills, and especially any “taxes and fees for which they will be immediately responsible upon placement of a successful bid.”
According to the catalog, there will be no in-person showing of any properties this year due to COVID-19. The county says most of the properties can be viewed from public roadways.
The county Legislature has final approval of all sales.