Tuesday tax sale lists more than 100 properties

As part of a larger effort to crack down on delinquent taxpayers and help fill the city's coffers in a tight budget year, the Richmond County Tax Commissioner's Office will put more than 100 properties up for sale Tuesday in a second-floor courtroom of the Municipal Building.

"Frankly, we never take this many," Tax Commissioner Steven Kendrick said.

Many of the properties are distressed, he said, but they'll be available for rock-bottom prices. Some of the owners owe as little as $250 in back taxes.

"These properties, in past years, they would not have gone to sale," he said.

Mr. Kendrick said he's hoping several hundred bidders will turn out for the sale, as opposed to the 50 or so who usually show up at tax sales.

In the past, the Tax Commissioner's Office focused on properties whose owners owed thousands of dollars, but now Mr. Kendrick and his staff are going after people who might owe hundreds of dollars on several properties, perhaps over a number of years, making for high lump sums.

The city's 2010 budget includes an expected revenue increase of $200,000 from Mr. Kendrick's new program, which he says is a conservative number.

Owners of the properties for sale Tuesday are behind on taxes from 2008 and earlier -- not on the bills that went out last year.

A list of the parcels can be obtained at the Tax Commissioner's Office in Room 117 of the Municipal Building, or on the office's Web site at www.arctax.com.

Bidding starts at the amount of taxes owed, plus costs due.

Purchasers will receive sheriff's tax deeds, but they have to wait a year and 45 days before taking physical possession of the properties.

Former owners have a year to reclaim their parcels by compensating purchasers what they paid at auction, plus 20 percent.

If that's not done, new purchasers must legally close rights to redeem after a year; otherwise, old owners have four years to retake their land, Mr. Kendrick said.

The sale starts at noon in Courtroom 2 of the Municipal Building, 530 Greene St.

For more information, call the Tax Commissioner's Office at (706) 821-2391.

Reach Johnny Edwards at (706) 823-3225 or johnny.edwards@augustachronicle.com

TAX SALE

WHAT: Sale of more than 100 properties whose owners are behind on taxes

WHEN: Noon Tuesday

WHERE: Courtroom 2 of the Municipal Building, 530 Greene St.

INFO: (706) 821-2391