[Adopted 4-16-2013 by L.L. No. 4-2013]
The purpose of this article is to establish the policy and procedures in the County of Sullivan for the sale of parcels of real property not redeemed for delinquent real property taxes, in accordance with New York State Real Property Tax Law Article 11.
When used in this article, the following definitions apply:
- ASSESSED VALUE
- The amount of the Town's official assessed value of real property, not including exemptions, on the latest assessment roll.
- The County of Sullivan, a political subdivision of the State of New York.
- DELINQUENT TAX
- An unpaid tax, special ad valorem levy, special assessment or other charge imposed upon real property by or on behalf of a municipal corporation or special district, plus all applicable charges, relating to any parcel which is included in the return of unpaid delinquent taxes prepared pursuant to Real Property Tax Law or such other general, special or local law.
- ENFORCING OFFICER
- The Sullivan County Treasurer.
- The Sullivan County Legislature.
- Any individual, group, association, partnership, corporation or other legal entity.
- REAL PROPERTY ADVISORY BOARD
- An advisory board whose membership shall consist of the County Treasurer, the Director of Real Property Tax Services, the County Manager and the County Attorney, or their designees. The RPAB shall hear and discuss real property matters and tax foreclosure matters for the purpose of advising the Sullivan County Legislature's Real Property Committee and shall perform all duties requested by said Committee pursuant to this article. The role of the RPAB shall be advisory only and shall not be a prerequisite to formal action by the Legislature.
- REAL PROPERTY COMMITTEE
- The duly designated standing committee as defined in the Sullivan County Code, which shall have jurisdiction of real property matters, regardless of its title by the Chairman of the Legislature, from time to time.
When the appropriate court executes a judgment pursuant to Real Property Tax Law Article 11 awarding title to one or more parcels of real property to the County, then the County shall take possession of any such parcel, unless 1) such parcel has been withdrawn from the proceeding; or 2) the County as a matter of law is not permitted to take possession of such parcel; or 3) the Real Property Committee, consistent with applicable law and after considering the recommendation of the RPAB, determines that it would not be in the County's interest to take title to the parcel.
Upon execution by the enforcing officer of a deed to such parcel or parcels, pursuant to Real Property Tax Law Article 11, the County, or other named grantee, shall be seized of an estate in fee simple absolute in absentees and nonresidents, except as specifically exempted by law, who may otherwise have had any right, title, interest, claim, lien, or equity of redemption in or upon such parcel shall be barred and forever foreclosed of any such right, title, interest, claim, lien or equity of redemption. Upon the execution of the judgment of foreclosure by the court, the execution and or recording of the deed by the enforcing officer shall be ministerial.
The County may retain title to one or more properties for public use, by resolution of the Legislature, or it may sell or release its interest in such parcel(s) as set forth herein.
The judgment may include a provision granting title to all personal property deemed abandoned on the realty.
Within a reasonable time after the court renders judgment in favor of the County authorizing the enforcing officer to convey title to the County, the County Legislature shall approve a date for a public auction. There shall be at least one public auction each year. Such auction or auctions shall be conducted on behalf of the County by the enforcing officer. The County Legislature may authorize the enforcing officer and the County Manager to execute a contract from time to time with an auction company to assist with the conduct of the auction. Decisions regarding the sale of specific properties at such auction shall be made by the enforcing officer. All parcels except those sold through a release of the County's interest pursuant to Subsection B herein, or through a private sale pursuant to Subsection B herein, or retained for public use or retained by the County of Sullivan for future determination or conveyed to another municipality for public use shall be subject to a public auction. Public notice of such auction shall be made at such times, places and manner in the discretion of the enforcing officer, who may seek the advice of the RPAB, the County Legislature and/or the auction company, if any, hired by the County to assist the enforcing officer in the conduct of the auction.
The terms of sale for the annual public auction shall be prepared, and modified from time to time, by the enforcing officer, who may seek the advice of the RPAB, the County Legislature and/or the auction company, if any, hired by the County to assist the enforcing officer in the conduct of the auction. Bids made at such auction shall be subject to final approval by resolution of the Legislature, and any bid may be rejected by resolution of the Legislature in its sole discretion.
The Legislature may, in its discretion, authorize the enforcing officer to conduct more that one public auction annually.
After all unredeemed parcels have been offered for sale at public auction, the Legislature shall attempt to sell any unsold parcels at private sale or subsequent public auction, or retain one or more specific parcels for public use.
Release of County's interest (repurchase program).
Upon and after the expiration of the redemption period, the Legislature may, prior to the public auction, permit the previous owner of record to repurchase the parcel through a release of the County's interest. The purchase price of such parcel shall be the total of the outstanding real property taxes, assessments, charges, interest, fees and penalties due and owing at the time of the sale; plus an additional 10% of that total, to be paid to the County's auctioneer, if any; plus an additional sum in the amount of 5% of the full equalized assessed value of the property; plus other costs and surcharges, if any. The repurchase program shall take place annually following the execution of the judgment of foreclosure by the court, commencing on March 1 and ending at 5:00 p.m. on April 20. This program shall be available to each former record owner(s) at the time the County commenced its foreclosure proceeding (by the filing of the in rem pleadings); however, each said owner must file a written application with the enforcing officer, along with payment in full, in an amount to be calculated by the enforcing officer and received by the enforcing officer no later than 5:00 p.m. on April 20. Personal checks are not an acceptable method of payment.
If the release of the County's interest is made upon and after the expiration of the redemption period, but before the judgment is executed, then the enforcing officer shall evidence the release by canceling and discharging the delinquent liens.
If the release is made after the judgment, the County Attorney shall effect the release of the County's interest by preparing and submitting to the court which executed the judgment an order discontinuing the in rem tax foreclosure action as to said property, canceling the notice of pendency of such action as to said property, and vacating and setting aside the judgment of foreclosure and the deed, if any, executed pursuant to such judgment of foreclosure as to said parcel(s). The entry of such order shall restore all parties, including owners, mortgagees, lienors, receivers, administrators and encumbrancers, to the status each held prior to the time the County acquired judgment to said property as if the judgment had never been rendered and shall render said property liable for all taxes, deficiencies, liens, penalties, interest, and other charges which shall accrue subsequent to those paid in order to obtain the release provided for in this section, or which were, for whatever reason, omitted from the payment made to obtain such release. The deed and other documents of conveyance shall be recorded by the Sullivan County Clerk even if executed only by a representative of the County but not the grantee.
Prior to reacquisition, if the property lies within a Village, then the party reacquiring the property must demonstrate written certification and documentation that all outstanding Village taxes have been paid in full.
The Legislature reserves the right to not conduct a repurchase program in any particular year, or to change the terms of the program in any particular year, by the adoption of a resolution prior to the commencement of the program that year.
The enforcing officer shall provide notice of the repurchase program to the former owner by regular first-class mail at the address contained in the most recent tax roll. Notwithstanding this article, the repurchase program shall be deemed discretionary in that it is not required by state law, therefore failure of the enforcing officer to mail the notice, or for the recipient to receive it, shall not give rise to a cause of action against the County.
Anything above to the contrary notwithstanding, a private sale may be authorized on a case-by-case basis by resolution of the Legislature after considering the recommendation of the Real Property Advisory Board. Any such private sale agreements must be approved by a resolution of the Legislature.
The Executive Committee of the Legislature shall designate specific properties for private sale from time to time, without the need for a formal resolution, on its own initiative or upon a recommendation of the RPAB. After a parcel has been so designated by the Legislature, the RPAB shall cull offers and meet with offerors and make recommendations to the Real Property Committee. The Legislature shall make a final determination on a case-by-case basis upon the adoption of a resolution. Any checks or monies received prior to said final determination shall be promptly returned by the Chair of the RPAB.
The following are examples of criteria to be used to approve a private sale, but this list is not intended to be exhaustive. The Legislature retains sole discretion to approve a private sale, or not, in the best interest of the County, keeping in mind that it is otherwise the policy of the County, as expressed herein above, that real property not retained for public use shall be sold at public auction:
Sale of property to promote economic development, where selection of a particular use would be in the best interests of the County.
Sale to a local government for public use.
Sale to a contiguous owner: 1) to provide access to a landlocked property; 2) to resolve a problem created by an encroachment, shared well or septic system, or common driveway, etc.; or 3) if the parcel cannot be otherwise improved under existing zoning regulations.
The Legislature may engage the services of a real estate broker and/or its auction company, if any, to assist the County with the sale of parcels.
Prior to consummation of the private sale, if the property lies within a Village, then the party acquiring the property must demonstrate written certification and documentation that all outstanding Village taxes have been paid in full.
In addition to the sales price, the purchaser shall pay to the County of Sullivan all other lawful charges and fees.
The County shall convey all parcels to be conveyed to a third party by the terms of this article by quitclaim deed. All sales may include a concurrent sale of the personality acquired by the County and authorized by the judgment. All sales shall include costs in the nature of a surcharge $20 plus a search fee and other expenses of foreclosure ($150 or more) per parcel, in the discretion of the enforcing officer.
The County of Sullivan shall not be liable for any physical condition of the property notwithstanding the County's ownership thereof.
The Legislature shall have final approval over all conveyances covered by this legislation.