The Valley Stream village board of trustees agreed at October’s village board meeting to pay $25,000 in back taxes on the newly renovated Rockaway Avenue courthouse that the village was reportedly unaware of.
According to the meeting agenda, the village was liable for five years in unpaid taxes on a portion of the property that it had acquired in 2012 for $880,000 through an eminent domain sale.
The village was reportedly not provided with a tax bill for the lot by the Hempstead Town receiver of taxes, and the taxes continued to go unpaid until an entity known as U.S. Bank Cust purchased a lien on the property. Additionally, without notifying the village, the bank sold the lien in a foreclosure sale, leaving Valley Stream on the hook for the back taxes.
“We purchased the property out of a foreclosure, but when we filed the paperwork [the parcel] was left out,” said Mayor Ed Fare, adding that the attorney who carried out the paperwork was a hired consultant.
“Believe me, I was disappointed,” Fare said of the discovery, adding that he had wished to fight paying the taxes, but that the legal fees alone would have outstripped the cost of paying off the lien. “And then I was disappointed again when we said, ‘OK we’re doing this.’”