The 2017 Delinquent Land Tax Foreclosure Sale concluded August 26 and the results were very encouraging.
According to Acting Chief Administrative Officer V. Edwin Stoll, 487 of the 679 parcels up for sale this year were sold to active bidders. That number is up from the 443 parcels of 826 parcels that were sold to active bidders at last year’s sale. “The results of the sale reflect the continuation of a trend of fewer parcels in the sale, increasing public interest in the sale, and increasing percentage of parcels sold to active bidders,” he said.
Since 2012 the number of parcels in the sale has dropped from 1,256 to 679 in 2017. In that same time period, of the parcels in the sale, the percentage that were sold has gone from 36.62 percent in 2012 to 71.72 percent in 2017. The number of registered bidders has also increased from 356 in 2012 to 917 in 2017.
Stoll noted that an improving economy and efforts of the County are factors that have contributed to that trend. Among those efforts are the thorough title search work performed by the Collection Department Delinquent Land Tax unit in identifying owners and other interested parties and the providing of notices to those parties. Also the accurate and timely posting of sale parcels by County personnel from many departments using a software program developed and maintained by the IT Department.
Stoll also pointed out the efforts of the Collection Department to collect delinquent taxes prior to petitions being filed, the efforts of the Collection Department and County Counselor’s Office to collect delinquent taxes with and after petition filing facilitating redemptions from foreclosure judgments, the Communication Department and IT Department providing an informative and interactive website educating the public and providing a valuable tool for prospective bidders and the County’s record of litigation successes in sale confirmation hearings.
The DLT program and process, used in a collaborative effort by the Court Administrator’s Office, the County Counselor’s Office and the Collection Department has contributed to the success of the process as well.
He said, “The auctions, conducted by the Court Administrator with Sheriff’s Department provided security, are well organized and efficiently run, a factor also contributing to the public’s positive perception of the process and resulting increase in interest in the sales.”
“Collecting property taxes for numerous taxing jurisdictions, including, without limitation, cities and school districts in the County, is a core function of Jackson County. The Delinquent Land Tax Foreclosure Sale process is only one part of that function. It is important to note that the 679 parcels that were in this year’s sale constitute less than one-fourth of one percent of the total number of real property parcels in the County,” Stoll said.