By Matt Youngfrau
LOCH SHELDRAKE June 7, 2002 Property has been selling well in Sullivan County, and inquiries on what is available is a common occurrence.
Thus, expectations for the Sullivan County Real Property Tax Auction were high but its beginning to look like they werent high enough.
The auction took place on Tuesday, June 4, Wednesday, June 5, and Thursday, June 6, at the Sullivan County Community College's Paul Gerry Fieldhouse. Over 600 properties were available from every town and village throughout the county.
By midday Wednesday, the county had recouped all the tax money owed and still had half of the properties yet to auction off.
Were hoping to come in somewhere at $2.50 for every dollar on taxes owed, said SC Legislator James Carnell, which is a hell of a shot in the arm for the county right now. There were high expectations for the towns of Mamakating, Bethel and Thompson, but I was surprised by what Liberty and Fallsburg brought in.
Registration for the auction started at the Government Center in Monticello on Monday. On that afternoon, 251 people signed up. On Tuesday morning, the registration line was so long that the opening of the auction had to be delayed about a half hour. When bidding finally started for property in the Town of Bethel, about 500 people packed the fieldhouse.
"This is far exceeding our expectations," stated Sullivan County Real Property Administration Director Robert Theadore. "There has been no rhyme or reason. Some properties we expected to go high, didn't. Some we didn't expect much on went very high. Properties are being bought up all over the county."
As of the end of Wednesday, only five or six properties were left out of the approximately 470 properties sold. Before the auction began, taxes owed totalled more than $3 million. Tuesday saw the county bring in almost $1.8 million. Wednesday, the day's total reached nearly $2 million. By the time property #422 was sold, the county had recouped all tax money owed.
"I am very pleased," remarked Sullivan County Treasurer Olga Parlow. "There is a lot of interest in Sullivan County right now. This is the time for Sullivan County."
Expectations were naturally high for Thursday, when property in the Towns of Neversink, Rockland, and Thompson went on the auction block.
Please see Tuesday's edition of the Sullivan County Democrat for Thursday's and the final auction results.