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Local News

July 17, 2013

County to auction tax-delinquent land

COOPERSTOWN — One tax-delinquent property, in Butternuts, was taken off the auction list when the owner arrived from London and wrote a check to Otsego County for more than $52,000.

Another that remained on the auction list is said to be a house in Unadilla that is overrun with cats.

And a commercial property set to go under the gavel at the county’s annual tax foreclosure auction at 11 a.m. on Aug. 14 is the home of the former West End Body Shop on Chestnut Street in the town of Oneonta.

The business closed nine years ago, and the building has been such an environmental hot potato that no one, not even the town of Oneonta, wanted to take title to it.

In all, Otsego County officials said Tuesday, a total of 55 lots are slated to be sold at auction at the Holiday Inn in Oneonta, the second tax delinquency sale that the county has arranged to be managed by Haroff Auction & Realty Inc.

More than two dozen of the properties are residential homes. Many of the parcels are rural vacant land, including a 52-acre tract in New Lisbon and one that’s 47 acres in the town of Oneonta.

“There is a big variety here — commercial buildings, vacant buildings and even some rental property,” said Otsego County Acting Treasurer Russ Bachman. “There are some nice residential properties out there that are vacant.”

The county’s objective is to get them back on the tax rolls.

They became eligible for the auction this year when it was determined that the tax bills going back to 2010 had gone unpaid, said Savannah Bresee and Bernadette Atwell, both staffers in the Treasurer’s Office who have been preparing for the auction now less than a month away.

Last year four people forfeited their deposits after they decided, for reasons unknown to the Treasurer’s Office, that they didn’t want to complete the transaction.

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