Sunday, April 18, 2010



Before the first bang of the gavel at this year’s Ulster County tax lien foreclosure sale, being held on April 21, 2010 at SUNY ULSTER, over 30% of the original 118 properties will have been redeemed, leaving eighty properties, ranging from a driveway to a 39 acre potentially hazardous waste site waiting to be auctioned off. The initial 2010 listing in the County of Ulster Public Auction booklet indicated that the total number of parcels, three or more years behind in their taxes, dropped by 10%, from last year to this year (134 to 118).

The Town of Wawarsing which led the initial list with twenty-six (26) now has twenty (20) properties remaining, followed by the Town of Saugerties with ten (10) and the Town of Ulster with eight (8). Three of the Towns, Woodstock, Hardenburgh and Olive, as well as the Village of Saugerties, will have no properties at this year’s auction.

While the numbers of properties have decreased, the total of unpaid taxes has risen 25% from last year ($1,580,288.92 to $1,980,917.20). The Town of Saugerties tops the list with eleven properties totaling $510,245.21, including one parcel on Quarry Road accounting for $412,594.32. Town of Kingston follows with $212,764.94 attributed to its one and only property on the list located on Woods Road. However, those two properties may have environmental issues that render them unsalable.

Since the publication of the list in early April, thirty-eight (38) parcels have been redeemed for a total of $667,937.37.

“It’s disheartening to see any property subject to a foreclosure sale. The Commissioner of Finance has made a huge effort to work with each and every property owner to help them through these tough times. Several of these properties, contributing to nearly a third of the unpaid taxes, maybe deemed hazardous, and therefore unsalable,” Comptroller Auerbach said.

The complete auction catalog can be found at


Member of Team Auerbach said...

And the collection of school taxes is a major contributor to this situation. There is and must be a better way to fund school districts without breaking the purse of the property owner.

Elliott Auerbach said...

You are absolutely correct. This year alone the County will be making school districts "whole" to the tune of $22m in unpaid school taxes. Would it be plausible to shift from a property tax (from the few) to an income tax from everyone.

Member of Team Auerbach said...

That would be "across the board" distribution taxation in funding school districts-- a lot fairer than the current system. Everyone speaks of streamlining government but no one will relinquish their sovereign territorialism. And God forbid you tell the school teachers your property taxes are too high. They will merely respond," If you can't afford it, than sell the house and move!!"

The State of Connecticut has no county government. Southern states have consolidated school districts operated on a county level. As I told you before, and will say it again: It's the same broken record I have heard over the past 35 years. It is what it is.

Elliott Auerbach said...

UPDATE....Looks like sixty-eight (68) properties will be put up at tomorrow's sale.
Several properties have been "pulled" from the auction by court order while one was requested to be removed by the Budget and Finance Committee.