Starke County officials held their annual delinquent property tax sale last week, raising nearly $300,000 from owners and buyers. The sale was conducted by county auditor Kay Chaffins and county treasurer Kasey Clark with the assistance of Indianapolis-based SRI Incorporated.
A property tax sale is required to be held in each Indiana county for those properties where an owner of real estate fails to pay the property taxes from the prior years first property tax bill installment. A tax lien on the property may be sold to satisfy the tax obligation to the highest bidder. The owners of the properties sold at the tax sale have one year to pay the delinquent property taxes, costs and penalties to keep the property.
The sale offered 176 parcels to 27 bidders. SRI conducts tax sales in 83 counties in Indiana, Michigan, and Colorado. This year’s tax sale resulted in the collection of $298,962.52 from owners and buyers, with 126 parcels having all taxes, penalties, and costs paid in full. While 135 properties did not sell, 41 properties did and 85 more were paid in full. Those 135 properties that did not sell will likely be acquired by the county through a tax lien and later sold to the public.
Clark described tax sales as a necessary function of county government, and said it is only fair to the people who pay their property taxes every year to pursue those that do not pay. Chaffins said it is her office’s ultimate goal to return the properties to the tax rolls as quickly and efficiently as possible.
For more information on property tax sales, visit www.sri-taxsale.com.