Essex County Board of Supervisors
Frustrated with the lapse between tax sales in Essex County, members of the Finance Committee voted unanimously to search for help in preparing the legal paperwork to move forward.
During their Oct. 21 meeting, committee members voted to seek bids for preparing the 2009, 2010 and 2011 tax sale of properties that are not paid up on property taxes.
“If you want to get caught up, do we consider hiring out for those years to get it done and get us all caught up, and then go to an annual sale after that?” Wilmington Supervisor Randy Preston said in introducing the resolution. “I don’t want to wait a year or more from now to get approval for (2009-2011). I guess I would bring that in the form of a resolution.”
Currently, the county has approval from Judge Richard Meyer to move forward with a tax sale on properties from 2006 with county Attorney Dan Manning working to finalize tax sales for 2007 and 2008.
Preston said the resolution was not intended to be a shot at Manning, but a way to help him and the county get the tax sales moving quicker.
“It is time that we get caught up, and it is very hard for one person to be doing all of this work,” Preston said. “I know (Manning) wants to do it all and he is very capable of doing it all, but it would take a lot of pressure of Dan and everyone else if we could get all caught up.”
Minerva Supervisor Sue Montgomery Corey agreed.
“Beyond this tax sale, there are just so many things that we are expecting of this office, and I think that it is hard to only ask one person to be doing these things,” Corey said.
“There is no blame being placed on anyone here,” Finance chair and Moriah Supervisor Tom Scozzafava said. “I think it would make more sense personally if we were to contract these sales out so we could get back on track and have one every year or every two years.”
North Elba Supervisor Roby Politi seconded Preston’s motion.
“It is somewhat disheartening to know that we are now off until November,” he said. “Just the fact that you advertise the tax sale generates a lot of revenue.”
Scozzafava hoped the move would lead to more regular tax sales.
“We have to go about this in a different way,” he said. “We all have properties within our towns that need to be addressed and some that need to be foreclosed on. Every county has a tax sale within a year if not within two years. We are now on seven years without one.
The resolution will go before the Ways and Means Committee Monday, Oct. 28. Approval would put it on the full board meeting agenda for Nov. 4.