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Essex County pushes back tax sale again

October 25, 2013

ELIZABETHTOWN - Essex County supervisors are talking about contracting out to sell seized properties rather than doing them in house after an upcoming tax sale has been pushed back yet again.

Supervisors have been talking for years about how the tax sale needs to get back on track, but they haven't been able to pull one together since 2008. The topic came up yet again in committee meetings Monday.

The county is working right now on preparing properties for which owners haven't paid their taxes from 2006 through 2008, but only the ones from 2006 have been certified by a judge.

Finance Committee Chairman Tom Scozzafava said he thinks the county should wait for 2007 and 2008's sale properties to be ready but then should contract out for the properties that haven't paid their taxes from 2009 through 2011.

North Elba town Supervisor Roby Politi agreed.

"It affects the budget," Politi said. "That revenue is important."

Wilmington town Supervisor Randy Preston moved to start work on a request for proposals for the service. He said a number of properties in his town have been eyesores for years, and he'd like to see them sold and fixed up.

Scozzafava said he and Palmer will discuss it as they put together the county's budget for 2014.

Politi said it's been tough for county Attorney Dan Manning because every time he tries to focus on this issue, he gets distracted by some other one. Right now, Manning is immersed in the case of an Essex woman who had 41 undernourished horses on her farm.

"There's no blame to be placed on anyone," Scozzafava said. "It's just that they are very, very busy."

Minerva town Supervisor Sue Montgomery-Corey said she thinks the county should take a look at Manning's responsibilities and possibly find a way to get him some help.



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