Commissioners approve online sale of tax sale certificates

The Bartholomew County Commissioners on Monday approved a resolution that will allow the tax sale certificates of three county properties to be sold online.

The properties, which are severely delinquent on their property taxes, are a part of seven that weren’t sold during last year’s annual tax sale. About 30 properties were included in the tax sale and most didn’t sell because they were small, Treasurer Barbara Hackman said.

“If they don’t sell then the commissioners have an opportunity to put those up for a certificate sale.”

Hackman and the auditor’s office met and determined three were appropriate for the certificate sale. After the certificates are purchased, they can be used to obtain properties that haven’t paid property taxes as far back at 2015.

During a tax sale, the minimum floor to start bidding is usually the taxes owed on the property. Under a commissioner’s tax certificate sale, a lower minimum bid can be instituted — usually 10 to 20% of the delinquent amount, District 1 Commissioner Larry Kleinhenz previously said. The commissioners will establish a discounted price for each parcel and the reduced minimum bids will be published for three consecutive weeks in The Republic at least 30 days prior to the certificate sale.

“Our intent is to get them into the hands of someone that’ll clean them up and get them back on the tax rolls,” said Kleinhenz.

The commissioners also approved an addendum to an agreement with SRI Services that will allow the company to conduct the sale itself. SRI’s fee is 15% of the proceeds, per Kleinhenz.

Hackman said the sale is likely to take place in the spring.

“We’ve been doing online bids, it’s been very successful the last couple years since COVID and so those three properties will go — it’s usually I think we determined it was the first part of April that they will be up for sale.