County loses in 2012 sale of delinquent properties

NORWICH – Chenango County lost money last year after its annual sale of tax-delinquent properties.

The amount of back taxes owed on 51 parcels, which had been in arrears since at least 2008, was $431,300. Earlier news reports showed a gain for the 44 properties that changed hands after the original sale in June, but the subsequent sale of seven parcels that were re-bid in October resulted in an overall loss of $37,177.

There was a gain of $298,421 between the two tax sales in 2011.

To explain the poor results, Chenango County Deputy Treasurer Barbara Strier said properties in bankruptcy or Chapter 13 represented a large amount of money to cancel out last year. The county increased its budget for legal work and was able to hold accountable individuals who engaged in serial filings of bankruptcy and otherwise abused the system, she said. However, Strier pointed out that a lot of people do go into bankruptcy and do complete their payment plans with the courts. “The county makes out OK with them. We aren’t going after those people (legally),” she said.

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