Sale of 2008 tax liens draws more than 300
The nation’s economy may be running a bit lean these days, but not so lean as to keep more than 300 people from participating Wednesday in Mesa County’s annual tax lien sale at Two Rivers Convention Center.
This year there was a jump from 524 parcels with tax obligations up for bid to 717. It wasn’t a record, Mesa County Treasurer Monika Todd said, but it was more than participants of the sale have seen in years.
“In the last five years, that is the highest amount of parcels we have had,” she said.
Regular buyers noticed the increase.
“They seem to have more property this year,” said Matt Brawley, 76.
In a tax lien sale, purchasers are essentially buying the unpaid taxes on the properties available at the auction. The vast majority of buyers are not looking to acquire property; they are looking for the property owners to buy back the tax bill.
“You just buy it for interest,” Brawley said. “After three years you can file for a deed.”
Brawley said he, and any of the day’s other buyers, will earn 11 percent interest on the taxes they pay this year.
Last year, buyers were getting a 15 percent return on their money. The rate is set each year by the state.
During Wednesday’s sale, Mesa County recouped $1,175,397, Todd said.
And while the number of properties at this year’s sale increased over last year, many in the audience said there were fewer bidders this year than last.
“I think there is less of a crowd,” said Hope Iden, 45. “People are trying to hold onto their cash.”