Friday, May 9, 2014

Tax default properties sold to Land Trust way under value

Half Moon Bay Review/Mark Noack, 5/8/14.  "Land trust sued over lost property." Property sold in private tax-default sale.

The price Coastal Land Trust paid
for the tax default properties was delicious.
Thank you for your hardship!
....  "Decades ago, the La Honda couple had invested their retirement money in Half Moon Bay real estate, buying a swath of 10 undeveloped parcels off Young Avenue. That was 1989, and the Nokes paid $200,000 for the properties.  ....  "In 2011, those same properties were sold to a new buyer, the Coastside Land Trust. In a deal with the San Mateo County Tax Collector’s Office, the land trust acquired all 10 parcels for a fraction of the price — just $34,000.

The Nokeses, both in their 70s, are now in the middle of a lawsuit against the Coastside Land Trust. They accuse the land trust of taking their property in a “backroom deal.” June Nokes readily admits they lost their land as a result of failing to pay years of property taxes. But she bristles while explaining how the county sold their land so cheaply, asking for just enough money to cover the tax bill. All the equity on their property was erased, she said.

“The county made a deal with the Coastside Land Trust to pay an under-market value,” she said. “Even if we lose, I want people in Half Moon Bay to know that this wasn’t fair.” ....We don’t want damages; we just want our property back.” Nokes said."    Read article.

Related - Coastside Land Trust/"Challenges we face".  "Urban open space and working farmlands are irreplaceable parts of the coast’s allure. Residents, visitors, and regional businesses all depend upon the health of the Coastside and its natural resources — the breathtaking views, parks, trails, open space, and clean water we often take for granted. But population and development pressures are increasing. By 2020, ABAG projects that population in this region will grow by 50% — greater than almost anywhere else in the county. This will bring traffic congestion, diminishing water quality and unprecedented development pressures. The open lands and natural resources we cherish are quickly disappearing. The Coastside Land Trust is dedicated to protecting the urban open space of the San Mateo County coast, for enjoyment now and for generations to come."  

Note:  The "nice kitty" photograph is by Steve Jurvetson from The Coastside Land Trust reference above.  

Posted by Kathy Meeh


Anonymous said...

Love the graphic and your caption, Ms. Meeh!

Anonymous said...

No pity for tax scofflaws. They could have sold the lots, paid the back taxes and still pocketed a tidy sum.

Anonymous said...

This is the way the law works. If you don't pay your property taxes, the county sells your land for the amount that's owed.