Madera County Tax Collector Tracy Kennedy conducted a tax defaulted land sale on March 20, consisting of parcels that were five or more years delinquent in property taxes.
In October, Kennedy's office began the process of putting together the tax sale for March.
"We started with more than 50 parcels," Kennedy said, "and we only offered for sale 18 parcels. The balance of them redeemed their back taxes."
Of the 18 parcels offered, five were sold and 13 did not receive the minimum bids. By law, Kennedy's office sets the minimum bids to cover all delinquent taxes plus the costs of conducting the tax sale.
"This was the first year that we didn't receive a minimum bid on a number of parcels," Kennedy said. "Our plan is to reoffer those parcels, along with many others, at our next tax sale scheduled for February 2014."
The tax sale is a good vehicle to force collections on taxpayers that have not paid their taxes for five or more years, Kennedy explained. However, it is a lot of work, consisting of legal publications, legal notices, certified mailings, as well as notifying any parties of interest on each parcel.
"It's a significant amount of work to be performed, but it has a tremendous pay off," she said.
This tax sale garnered more than $200,000 from the five parcels sold. Those five parcels owed $50,000 in taxes. The balance will be available for parties-of-interest to claim if they have a legitimately recorded interest in any of the parcels, according to Kennedy.
"We had very good internal staff support from Gina Brumley, who took a real interest in the entire tax sale process," Kennedy said. "She was very invested in the process and that helped make it successful."