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Tax lien sale brings in under $25,000

The first tax lien sale of the year reaped just under $24,429 for the county with liens on 17 parcels sold.

However, weeks before the sale, owners redeemed almost half of the delinquent properties that were to go on the auction block.

Originally there were liens on 439 parcels with approximately $800,000 in back taxes owed. But before the sale began on Monday that number went down to 274 parcels with $421,761 to be sold.

“A number of parcels were landlocked,” County Treasurer Stephen Burcham told the county commission at its Thursday meeting. “And we will address those in another manner. We have negotiated a few sales and we should have our first foreclosure in September.”

That will be on a railroad right of way whose lien was purchased by the Lawrence Economic Development Corp.

The next tax lien sale is scheduled for Sept. 26 at the courthouse.

If sales continue to be low, Burcham said he was considering selling all remaining liens to a Texas-based company that buys tax liens and finances them for the taxpayers.

“I have reservations about putting the entire list in third party hands without oversight,” he said.

The treasurer’s office is in the process of creating a web site that would allow property owners to pay taxes on online.

“People can go to the site and make payments over the web site,” Burcham said. “We get a lot of calls on the very last day. If we can refer them to the website, they can get credit for that day. We can give them a chance.”

The website is expected to be up and running by the first of November and available in time for the first half taxes for 2012.

Burcham also reported that two certificates of deposit that came due this week have been renewed for .65 percent, down from approximately .7 percent interest rate.

Another CD will come due on Sept. 12 that currently has the interest rate of 5.3 per cent.

“What we’re reviewing is we will come in under 1 percent,” Burcham said.

Right now the treasurer’s office has collected $131,044.86 in interest on current CDs with $327,761 to be received by the end of the year.