CLARKSTOWN, N.Y. -- Just days after Rockland County Executive Ed Day announced that he was making good on a promise to foreclose on non-residential properties with long outstanding tax bills, the owner of the property with the largest delinquency has paid up.
A certified check in the amount of $81,173.32 was received by the Rockland County tax collector Wednesday for taxes owed on 471 Kings Highway in Valley Cottage. The amount represents taxes owed in full through September, said Day.
“This proves what we have been saying all along,” said Day. “Some people stop paying their taxes not because they can’t but because they see it as part of doing business."
Day added that people who fail to pay their taxes while they continue to receive services raise the tax bill of everyone else: “No one has the right to raise your tax bill because they haven’t paid theirs,” the county executive said.
Rockland has collected $2.4 million out of $2.9 million, or 81 percent, of the back taxes owed since starting an enforcement campaign in the spring.
The action involves foreclosing after two years of unpaid taxes on non-residential properties instead of three as had long been the practice.
Kevin O’Sullivan, the longtime owner of the Valley Cottage property, a ramshackle two-story building that abuts the railroad tracks, had not paid taxes on the lot in years. No other owner of 124 delinquent non-residential properties has paid taxes since Day announced recently that a judge has signed off on foreclosure proceedings on the parcels.
An auction of the properties will take place sometime in January. Owners have until the day of the auction to pay the tax bill in full.