Tax certificate sale continues to shrink

Tax Collector Jimmy Harris and clerk Sarah Carter review the computer records that keep track of the Photo available for purchase

Tax Collector Jimmy Harris and clerk Sarah Carter review the computer records that keep track of the tax certificate sale.

David Adlerstein
Published: Wednesday, June 18, 2014 at 10:14 AM.

Tax Collector Jimmy Harris sold off a smaller volume of tax certificates at the May 30 sale than he did the year before.

In fact, it was less than half the dollar amount it was in 2010, as this annual chunk of delinquent taxes has steadily shrunk over the past five years.

“That means more people paid their taxes this year than in the past,” said Harris who, together with clerk Sarah Braswell, spent all day auctioning off the certificates to a room that ebbed and flowed among 45 eligible bidders.

The county gets a 5 percent commission from the sale proceeds, which also cover the costs of advertising for three weeks prior to the sale.

When those amounts, tacked on to the lax liens, are figured in, Harris brought in a little more than $996,000 from the sale of 1,161 tax certificates, down from the $1.05 million that came in last year from the sale of 45 more certificates, 1,206.

The 2013 sale, which was based on the tax obligations of the previous calendar year, represented a steep half-million dollar drop from 2012, when 1,413 certificates were sold, totaling $1.52 million. And that was almost a half-million dollars less than in 2011, when 1,585 tax certificates were sold, totaling $1.96 million.

In 2010, 1,668 certificates worth $2.36 million were sold. Go back another year, to 2009, and the total was just $60,000 shy of $3 million, when 1,791 certificates were snatched up by investors.



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