From the Salem Leader:
Washington County hopes to recover money it is owed from delinquent taxes by selling 22 parcels through a sale planned for 10 a.m. Wednesday, March 5.
"This is property that hasn't sold in past tax sales," Bob Woodward, Washington County Treasurer, said. "To get it back on the tax rolls, they (the property) has been turned over to the commissioners. They have a sale - and on this one, they will go down to as low as 25 percent of taxes owed on it."
The commissioners could have held the sale on the Internet, but Woodward said that hasn't worked well for the county in the past. The commissioners decided to have a live auction which will be held in the basement of the courthouse.
"Bidding will start out at 25 percent of the taxes owed on it and go from there," Woodward said.
It will be conducted by SRI, the company that also handles sheriff sales for the county. There are 23 properties listed on SRI's website but Woodward said one, at 308 S. Mill in Salem, has been taken off the list. He explained the owner is deceased and the state has given the property to the city.
Salem Mayor David Bower said the city will probably demolish the structure, but said there are a lot of hoops that have to be jumped through first.
"We've been working with the building department," Bower said. "It's our responsibility to look at any unsafe building. Our obligation is to remove unsafe buildings especially ones that have been abandoned."
Woodward described many of the parcels as "less than desirable" and added that some are landlocked.