Delinquent property tax sale takes place

Thursday, September 30, 2010
Debra James

A few more properties in Clay County are on the way back to the tax roll.

On Thursday, county officials conducted their annual delinquent property tax sale at the Clay County Courthouse.

The sale, which was conducted by Clay County Auditor Mary Jo Alumbaugh and Treasurer Debra James, along with representatives from Indianapolis-based SRI, Inc., made 212 parcels available to the 30 bidders in attendance.

"We had quite a few people come and pay their taxes in the weeks leading up to the sale, which took them off the list," Clay County First Deputy Auditor Erica Stallcop told The Brazil Times. "There were 383 parcels on the initial tax sale list, and we sold 69 of the remaining properties during the sale for a total of $71,200.52."

At the conclusion of the sale, there were 143 parcels remaining, which have been essentially turned over to the Clay County Commissioners for their consideration.

"The commissioners were provided with a certificate for the unsold properties -- which have a total of $136,876.15 in delinquencies and penalties attached to them -- and it is at their discretion on whether or not they choose to conduct another certificate sale," Stallcop said.

A property becomes eligible to be included in the sale if its owner fails to pay property taxes for at least three consecutive collections. Thursday's sale included parcels in which property taxes had not been paid since the Spring 2009 collection.

"Tax sales are a necessary function of county government," James said. "It is only fair to the people who pay their property taxes every year to pursue those who do not pay."

Owners of the parcels sold in Thursday's sale have one year to redeem the delinquent property taxes, along with other penalties and costs, in order to retain the property. If this is not accomplished and the purchaser has completed all necessary requirements -- title search, petition for tax deed, etc. -- then the purchaser obtains the property if a judge grants the deed.

While the number of parcels included in the countywide tax sale has gone down in the past couple of years, it is still an uphill battle to get them all back on the tax roll.

"It is our ultimate goal to return these properties to the tax rolls as quickly and efficiently as possible," Alumbaugh said. "Property owned by people who pay their property taxes ensures that our local government services are fully funded."

For more information about property tax sales, visit

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  • When these people sell someones property for taxes they should be locked up its theft plain and simple. What a bunch of #@&*%^*#@ Well you know what i mean

    -- Posted by Thorn44 on Fri, Oct 1, 2010, at 7:00 AM
  • Thorn44.... I agree with you whole heartedly!! Shame on them!!

    -- Posted by Innocent on Fri, Oct 1, 2010, at 8:10 AM
  • Pay your taxes and you won't have to worry about your property going up for sale. Why should someone get away with not paying their taxes when other property owners pay theirs. Come on. Let's get real.

    -- Posted by My opinion counts on Fri, Oct 1, 2010, at 12:15 PM
  • If the property was being sold because the people owning it were just dead beats, then I can understand selling the property. If it was someone who lost a job or even a loved, which includes their income,then maybe they just can't afford to pay them for a while, then give these people a break. You don't know unless you walk in their shoes.

    -- Posted by th1953 on Fri, Oct 1, 2010, at 10:14 PM
  • th1953... you are right on the money.... MY opinion counts you obviously have no heart... You might have it made but there are people out here struggling not to there own accord but to unfortunate circumstances... Everything isn't always black and white. I hate ignorance!

    -- Posted by Innocent on Sat, Oct 2, 2010, at 8:56 AM
  • So, you guys think that a home owner should be allowed to just stop paying taxes at any time, right? Perhaps you think property tax should just be vacated for every person that walks in the door and "claims" to be having such a hard time that they cannot pay?

    I know there are a lot a people having a difficult time. But, there are things a person can do to prevent the loss of a home during a hardship.

    Taxes are just a fact of life, as well as an obligation.

    -- Posted by Oldtown on Sun, Oct 3, 2010, at 3:27 AM
  • I have to agree with TH1953 & INNOCENT on this one. I have lost a sole-breadwinner job and been in trouble with my property taxes. When it came to food, electricity, water or taxes .. I chose the latter.

    Considering my property (at the time) was about 800 sq ft and I owed over $1300/year in property taxes (no outbuildings) and my EX who lives outside town in an 1800 sq ft home (outbuildings, in-ground pool) paid nearly half that .. yeah, I felt violated.

    Why not stretch the payment out over a period of 18 months or cut it in half (for those individual cases who qualify), instead of selling a $60,000 piece of property that's been paid (mortgage & taxes) diligently for 15 years for property taxes 'due and owing'?

    "we sold 69 of the remaining properties during the sale for a total of $71,200.52." You do the math. It's a shame .. plain and simple.

    -- Posted by Emmes on Tue, Oct 5, 2010, at 11:26 AM
  • 1300 for 800 sq feet? In Clay County?

    I have 5 homes, 4 of which are in Brazil city limits. The tax for all is under 2,000 for the year. They are all well over 1000 sq ft each. Some have basements, others have garages.

    I guess my lack of knowledge of assessment values could mean I am wrong about your 800 sq ft, but I can only compare to my own.

    As home owners, we know our responsibility. You plan for it by making sure you have the funds available. Escrows are the best way to make sure you have property tax money in place. Heck, most banks will even set it up so that the tax is spread out in payments and added on to your mortgage.

    Even if the property is sold during a tax sale, you still have loads of time to pay the tax and fees up.

    -- Posted by Oldtown on Wed, Oct 6, 2010, at 11:15 AM
  • Well, OLDTOWN, if I still owned the home, I'd be up at the Courthouse discussing the property taxes with them .. they could have been wrong all these years!!

    At the time I purchased the house, escrow was not an option (FMHA). I do wish I had refinanced and added my tax payment into the loan, though.

    Also, now I know (was ignorant of homeownership then) to pay MORE than the monthly payment to help in the long run. ; )

    -- Posted by Emmes on Fri, Oct 8, 2010, at 10:41 AM
  • Yep, Emmes. they are frequently wrong. Twice now, I have had to make the trip in to contest an assessment. Once, they assessed my place as a two story. I guess putting a window in the attic to help with ventilation is also deceiving to a lazy assessor that only does a "drive by assessment".

    We are all ignorant of things the first time around. But, we don't go buy a car and not plan on putting license plates on it.

    -- Posted by Oldtown on Sat, Oct 9, 2010, at 2:12 PM
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