Two commercial buildings in the village of Cobleskill’s Main Street business district are among more than 90 properties going up for auction in Schoharie County this year.
The county recently posted a catalog for the May 18 auction where 94 parcels will be sold to the highest bidder.
The large list of properties is due to the lack of action last year because records in the county Treasurer’s office on Main Street in Schoharie were destroyed by 2011 flooding, forcing County Treasurer William Cherry to cancel a 2012 auction altogether.
Among the listings is a home on Briggs Road in the town of Conesville offering “beautiful mountain views” and 96 acres of land.
Two business properties — 784 E. Main St. and 551 Main St. in Cobleskill — are located in the heart of the village’s business district and could sell for well less than their assessed value.
Cherry said he suspects somebody will end up getting a good deal at the auction that will help the county earn some tax revenue on parcels that have been idle for several years.
Residential, farm and vacant properties wound up on the auction list for unpaid taxes in 2007 and 2008, commercial properties were taken back for 2009 overdue taxes.
Although potential purchasers are cautioned they have to check with the town or village to learn any details on building on a parcel, codes and other regulations, Cherry said there’s no fine print when it comes to buying a property through the auction.
There are no hidden back taxes to pay nor any liens on these properties, he said.
“When you’re buying a property from us, you’re buying it free and clear,” Cherry said.
Schoharie County is one of a handful in New York state that offer property owners monthly payment agreements for those who get in trouble with their taxes, so those who owned the ones on the auction list were given chances to hang onto them.
“Before we’ve taken the property for back taxes, the treasurer’s office has bent over backwards to do everything we can to keep the property in the hands of the property owners,” Cherry said.
In some cases, homes may be occupied, though, and it’s the buyer’s responsibility to handle evictions.
The catalog of properties shows some range in assessed value from as little as $1,000 to as much as $292,500.
They often sell for less than that value, Cherry said — he recalls an eight-acre parcel selling for $100 in the past.
The goal is to get the parcels back on the tax rolls, which will bring revenue into the county and maybe create new neighbors, Cherry said.
A catalog for 2013 auction properties can be found at www.schohariecounty-ny.gov.