County to Sell Campground Sites on Internet
Indiana's Union County hopes to find a wider audience for properties with delinquent taxes by selling them on the Internet this spring.
Indiana law changed about three years ago to allow online sales of delinquent properties, but so far only about a half-dozen Indiana counties have tried them, said Joe Edwards, vice president of SRI Inc., an Indianapolis firm that manages tax and sheriff sales across the state, according to the Richmond Paladium-Item.
Internet property sales are used almost exclusively by Florida counties, where properties with delinquent taxes can be sold within six months instead of the 18 months Indiana requires, Edwards said.
"Online sales are becoming more popular. Union County is a pretty good fit for it, even though the numbers of parcels aren't high, because of the nature of the properties," Edwards said. "DeKalb County has decided to do an Internet sale because it has 50 properties in one area like Liberty's campground."
Union County has 71 properties that weren't sold in last fall's delinquent tax sale, including 63 campground lots in private campgrounds, deputy auditor Virginia Bostick said.
"There'll be (many) more people look at them online," Commissioner David Woeste said.
"There might be people who would bid online who wouldn't drive down here to bid," Commissioner Paul Wiwi said.
SRI will conduct the online auction, charging a 10% commission for online sales. That might cost less than the flat $125 per parcel fee it collects for sales conducted locally, Edwards said.
The commissioners agreed to offer the properties for a minimum bid of 10% of their certificate value, which is back taxes, penalties and other fees.
"We usually offer properties online for 10 days, including two weekends," Edwards said. "If you offer them on the Internet, there's no need to make the minimum bid very high. If there are two bidders, the minimum is irrelevant."