Area properties face tax auction in July

Mary Perham
The Vinehurst is one of more than 90 properties up for taxes

Nearly 100 properties are up for the highest bid at Steuben County’s real property auction, slated for July 20 in the Haverling High School Auditorium in Bath.

This year, the auction features a motel, a go-kart venue and a home formerly owned by funeral home director, David Seager.

The motel, The Vinehurst, on State Route 54 in the town of Urbana, is located on 3.2 acres, and assessed at $378,000 full value. Estimated yearly tax is $8,784.

Moe’s Karting World, on State Route 417 in the town of Tuscarora, is a racetrack on 7.5 acres, with a full market value of $36,310. Estimated yearly tax is $1,279.

The Seager home, on East Washington Street in the village of Bath has a full market value of $83,600, with an estimated yearly tax of $3,267.

Seager’s funeral homes in Bath and Savona were auctioned off last March, with the profits going into a state reserve fund for Seager’s alleged victims.

Roughly 29 foreclosed properties still up for bid are vacant lots.

The total number of parcels up for auction is likely to drop before the July auction, since Steuben allows former owners a grace period to reclaim their property by paying the remaining taxes and a 25 percent penalty. The deadline for recovering property is 5 p.m. July 15.

The buy-back plan allowed 65 owners to take back their properties last year, with 87 parcels reaching the auction block.

County officials always have mixed feelings about the auction, which is held to recover back taxes and bring in needed revenues. However, the foreclosures also are a sign of a troubled local economy and individuals and families losing their homes.

Steuben also allows owners who cannot pay their taxes the option of monthly payments, with a 1 percent monthly penalty added.

The county forecloses on parcels after property taxes are in arrears for two years, or the property owner defaults on an installment contract.

Last year a record 101 foreclosed parcels recovered more than $1.2 million in back taxes and netted Steuben County nearly $600,000, according to the county records.

The auction report raised the highest total in at least five years. Fifty-one of the original 162 foreclosed properties were recovered by the former owners before the auction.

Properties can be found on the county Website, Listings also include full market value and annual property taxes.

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