QUEENSBURY -- Warren County officials will auction off 28 pieces of property next month during the county tax auction, a 25 percent drop from last year.

Michael Swan, the county's director of Real Property Tax Services, said most of the parcels are vacant land, and there are no large commercial properties this year.

Last year, three hotels in Queensbury and Lake George were on the list, but Swan said no such businesses were far enough in arrears to be auctioned this year.

Properties headed to tax auction had risen across the country in recent years as the economy struggled.

The list of properties that were eligible to be auctioned by Warren County officials had risen to nearly 650 as of March, a 40 percent rise from the year before.

But Swan said county officials were able to work with most of them to have payments made so that the properties came off the auction list.

"We beat the bushes trying to get people in to pay, and most of them paid," he said.

The auction is scheduled for Oct. 15. Anyone wanting a list of properties can find it at the county website, www.co.warren.ny.us. Click on the "real property tax services" link. They also can be picked up at Swan's office in the county Municipal Center.

The drop was not seen in neighboring Washington County, though.

The county had nearly three times as many properties go up for auction this year as in 2010. The county does its auction in June, and put up 142 this year, compared with 48 last year, according to the county Treasurer's Office.

Washington County Attorney Roger Wickes said the reason for the increase was unclear, though the county did have some properties from prior years go to auction this year after auctions were postponed on them because of bankruptcy filings.

Saratoga County had 10 properties go to auction earlier this month.

(1) comment

mjf

Here is the reason that Washington County had so many properties to sell: If a property owner owes two years' taxes, the county will foreclose; if the property owner makes a partial payment, that money will be applied to the current year's taxes, thus leaving the property owner still two years in arrears, and still foreclosed and he will still lose his property to the county's auction.

Neat little scheme, no?

Washington county homeowners are losing their property because they can't afford to pay because there are no jobs in this county. The taxes are high because the county spends thousands of dollars on comfy chairs for county workers, and buy county cars for county employees [it's amazing how many teenaged county workers can be seen doing county work at eleven o'clock at night, stopping at Stewart's for a frozen pizza.]

That's why Washington County had so many properties for sale last June.

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