Beaufort News

County delinquent-tax auction kicks off today

Hundreds of houses, mobile homes and commercial properties will be auctioned off today at Beaufort County's annual delinquent-tax sale as the Treasurer's Office seeks to collect outstanding taxes on the properties.

Deputy treasurer Troy Hodges said Friday morning he expected slightly fewer than 1,500 properties to be on the auction block.

But that number could decrease depending on how many people make last-minute payments to prevent their properties from being auctioned.

"I've got the phones ringing off the hook," Hodges said at the time. "It's crazy."

Because of the high number of delinquent properties, recent auctions have required two days of bidding.

Hodges said there's a chance this year's auction will wrap up in just one day.

Treasurer Doug Henderson has hired a professional auctioneer to man the microphone, which might speed up the sales, Hodges said. In previous years, that duty was performed by former deputy treasurer Herschel Evans.

Owners of delinquent properties sold today have one year to reclaim them by paying the taxes, with interest.

Last year, nearly $23 million was bid for 1,572 properties on which about $3.4 million of delinquent taxes were owed.

Since then, many of those owners have paid and reclaimed their properties.

Hodges estimated the taxes on 250 of those properties are still outstanding and could change hands when the one-year grace period on last year's sale expires Wednesday.

Follow reporter Kyle Peterson at content:

Late-fee amnesty brings in $3.3 million of back taxes, Sept. 8, 2011

Treasurer announces two-week amnesty on property-tax late fees, Aug. 11, 2011

Nearly $23 million bid during two-day tax sale, Oct. 5, 2010