During a special meeting Monday, the Clay County Commissioners approved a resolution stating their intent to conduct the sale and adopted the calendar, which set the sale to begin 10 a.m., Wednesday, April 7.
Although there are currently 136 parcels set to go in the sale totaling nearly $163,000 in delinquent taxes, penalties and liens, the commissioners analyzed each one individually, slashing prices to almost the bare minimum.
"There are some of the parcels that have been in tax sales for years," Clay County Auditor Mary Jo Alumbaugh said during the meeting. "Every time a parcel is not bought in the sale or redeemed by the owner, the delinquencies continue to build."
Commissioner's President Charlie Brown provided pictures he took of properties with buildings or other improvements included.
"Some of the properties have buildings that are in terrible condition," Brown said. "It's not surprising that some of them have not sold when it will take a lot of extra money for demolition and clean up."
Thirty of the properties have delinquent taxes, penalties and liens totaling in excess of $1,000, 12 of which have more than $5,000. The highest amount owed on a single property is $14,992.58.
In hopes of making the properties more attractive to potential buyers, the commissioners set the price on all but two of the 136 available parcels between $10 and $100. Of the two with higher prices, one is set at $2,500, and the other at $5,000.
"Those two parcels have homes that are in relatively good shape," Commissioner Paul Sinders said. "Unless the owner decides to redeem the property and pay the full amount owed, someone could walk out of the tax sale with a great deal."
Unlike the countywide tax sale -- in which buyers have one year to complete the process -- those purchasing a property from the Commissioners' Sale have only 120 days to complete a title search and send out notices to parties with an interest or lien on the parcel prior to petitioning the courts for a deed.
"The best advice I would give a person purchasing a parcel in a tax sale is to hire an attorney to make sure the process is done correctly so the judge will be more likely to sign the petition for a deed," Alumbaugh said. "Also, while they may purchase a parcel for $100 or less, they should be aware and ready to put out a bare minimum of an additional $1,000 for attorney fees, publication costs and the title search."
However, at any point within the 120 days, the owner of the parcel may redeem the property by paying the entire amount owed, not just the cost the buyer paid, which would remove the property from delinquency. Properties may also be redeemed up to the time the sale starts to remove it from the tax sale list.
"If the owner redeems during the 120 days, they must also pay all the fees incurred by the buyer as well," Commissioners' Attorney Eric Somheil said.
The commissioners also requested notices of the sale be sent to landowners adjacent to vacant parcels available.
"Doing that has worked out well because about 80 percent of the buyers in the last Commissioners' Sale were adjacent property owners," Deputy Auditor Erica Stallcop said.
Once the new prices are entered into the system, the list of parcels included in the April 7 Commissioners' Tax Certificate Sale should be available by visiting www.sri-taxsale.com/Commissioner/Default....
For questions or more information about the tax sale, contact the Clay County Auditor's Office at 448-9001 or the Clay County Treasurer's Office at 448-9009.