Watertown auction yields $455,621 in tax sale certificates
Tuesday, June 26, 2018
Posted by: Carly Cahur
The Watertown, N.Y., city Comptroller’s Office auctioned off 176 tax sale certificates Thursday, raising more than $455,621 on properties whose owners are delinquent on taxes.
Outside bidders ended up with 61 certificates, totaling $139,678, City Comptroller James E. Mills said.
The city became the default bidder on 115 certificates with $315,942 in back taxes, the most certificates since 2011, when 135 were obtained.
The property owners were not current on their city, school and/or Jefferson County taxes for the 2017-18 fiscal year. About 25 people showed up for the auction.
Without ICA Renovations there, local property owner Reginald J. Schweitzer Jr. was the big winner, gobbling up 16 certificates.
“Not bad,” he said later about acquiring so many certificates.
Mr. Schweitzer, who is also the executive director of Neighbors of Watertown, was surprised that ICA Renovation was not there.
“It was kind of interesting without him being there,” he said.
Last year, the auction yielded 206 tax sale certificates, raising more than $321,677 on properties whose owners are delinquent on taxes.
The city holds tax sales annually for properties that have gone one year in arrears. The city is made whole when bidders pay those delinquent taxes following tax-sale auctions.
Delinquent owners have two years after a tax sale to redeem their properties before the owners of the tax sale certificates can request to take ownership of the properties. To do so, they must pay all outstanding taxes and any interest and penalties.
The city imposes a 1-percent-per-month interest charge on properties, which then is given to the tax sale certificate holder, along with the money paid for the certificate.
“The city received more certificates than normal due to the absence of ICA Renovations,” Mr. Mills said, adding that it could end up with positive and negative impacts.
The city could receive more interest earnings but it also could end up with more properties with back taxes, he said.
The city ended up with tax certificates for such notable properties as the former North Side Improvement League on Mill Street, the Club No. 9 nightclub on Arsenal Street, the FunXcape indoor children’s playground building near the JB Wise parking lot and Northland Plaza on State Street.
Read the original story here.