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Volume 1 - Opinions of Counsel SBEA No. 56

Opinions of Counsel index

Enforcement of delinquent village taxes - Real Property Tax Law, § 1464:

Where a village holds a tax sale certificate which has not been redeemed by the owner for a period of two years, the village board of trustees may, after service upon the record owner, mortgagee and occupant of a notice to redeem the property, make application to the village treasurer for a conveyance to the village of the property described in the tax sale certificate.

We have received a request for information concerning the enforcement of delinquent village taxes.

Since the village in question purchased tax liens at tax sales previously held, the provisions of section 1440 of the Real Property Tax Law concerning the enforcement of unpaid taxes by an action against the owner as upon contract may not be utilized at this time (65 Op. State Compt. 394).

The only other procedure which the village could use would be that provided by section 1464 of the Real Property Tax Law. This section provides, in substance, that if the village is the holder of a tax sale certificate which has not been redeemed by the owner for a period of two years, the village board of trustees may make application to the village treasurer for a conveyance to the village of the property described in the tax sale certificate. However, before making such application, the village board of trustees must serve upon the record owner and mortgagee, if any, by certified or registered mail, a notice to redeem the property described in the tax sale certificate. In addition, if the property is in the actual occupation of any person, a further notice to redeem must be served personally upon the occupant. Such service upon the owner, mortgagee and occupant must be made at least six months prior to the date that the application for conveyance is made. Section 1464 sets forth in detail the information which must be contained in the notice to redeem.

If the real property described in the notice is not redeemed within such six-month period, the board of trustees may file with the village treasurer proof of the required service upon the owner, mortgagee and occupant together with an application for a conveyance of the property by the treasurer to the village. Such conveyance is executed by the treasurer and may be recorded in the same manner as any other conveyance.

Upon completion of the above, title to the property would be vested in the village but it should be pointed out that such title is not usually as marketable as title which is acquired as a result of an action to foreclose the tax lien.

February 1, 1972

Updated: