Inching Closer

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Attorney Predicts DelinquentTax Sale Will Be Held This Spring

By Deb Hadachek Telescope News

If all goes according to schedule, Republic County may have a delinquent tax sale in time to celebrate the fourth anniversary of the last one.

Republic County Attorney Justin Ferrell told commissioners March 11 that the required court proceedings are drawing to a close and he hopes an auction can be held in May or  June.

“It would be good if we could have a tax sale every year,” said County Commissioner Edwin Splichal, stating an oft-repeated mantra that has been a regular sticking point on the commission agenda.

The last delinquent tax sale was conducted in June 2015, when 27 properties were sold. At that time, 61 properties owed taxes more than three years past due, but more than$100,000 in taxes were caught up when owners were put on notice.
The current sale lists 12 properties, what remains of some of the 70 that were three years past due when the process started this go around.

On Tuesday, RepublicCounty Treasurer Cindy Coonssaid there are an additional 65properties that haven’t paidtaxes for 2015, 2016 or 2017. More than $350,000 in back taxes is currently owed, along with $55,000 in interest and$7,300 in fees.

“Yes, we’ll probably turn around and start the process all over again as soon as this one is done,” Ferrell told the governing board. “This got some people’s attention–some came in and paid, others came in to file disclaimers because they were listed on properties they didn’t know they had an interest in.”
Ferrell said he budgeted in 2019 to hire an outside firm to spearhead a tax sale.

“I know ideally the citizens would like to have one every year,” he said. “It’s very paperwork intensive and requires a lot of filings.”

The current tax sale proceeding was started in 2016 by then-county attorney Marlea James’office. Ferrell was appointed county attorney to replace James in late2017.
Later during Tuesday’s meeting, Mundenmayor Jimmie Blecha said the one property in Munden on the current list had an interested buyer at one time.

“Four years ago we had an interested buyer who wanted to build on that lot, but now we do not,” he told commissioners.