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Essex County preps for next tax sale

ELIZABETHTOWN — Following the fireworks generated by the tax auction earlier this year, lawmakers and county officials are working to ensure a smooth takeoff for the auction slated for this fall.

The players: County Clerk Joe Provoncha, County Attorney Dan Manning, Treasurer Mike Diskin and a handful of town supervisors.

“I know the county doesn’t do an excellent job with the owners who are delinquent who are about to lose their properties,” Crown Point Supervisor Charles Harrington told officials last month. “We also need to know that the county isn’t going to get themselves in a situation like in the past.”

Harrington said it’s costly for the county to let delinquent properties stack up. Revenue can’t be generated and neighboring property values plummet.

“The value goes on a downward spiral,” he said. “I want the three agencies involved with the sales to be aware of the timeline that has been established. They all have a goal to meet the timeline.”

Earlier this year, officials said they hoped to hammer out auctions on a regular schedule. Officials say they are on track for the next to be held in mid-October.

Harrington said the board needs to ensure smooth communication within the three departments that facilitate the sales.

“If there are any glitches in the system, and if assistance is needed, then we need to deal with that. We can’t allow ourselves to put ourselves in a pit again.”

While Harrington couldn’t give an exact figure on how many tax-delinquent properties there were in Crown Point, Diskin said the town had just a single property slated for sale this fall. Nine were auctioned off at the last sale on April 30.

CLERK’S OFFICE

“I totally agree,” said Provoncha. “We do need to work together.”

The clerk said the agencies have a smooth relationship and have wrapped up work on the 2009 properties. They are almost finished with 2010 and starting on the 2011s.

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