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Commissioners tax sales will be recorded

CROWN POINT — Over the years a problem has become more evident, with some people thinking they can bamboozle the Lake County Commissioners when bidding on properties being sold at the county tax sale.

Some people have been bidding on property to raise the sale price and then never paying for that bid. This causes other serious bidders, who actually want to do something with that property, to be over bid, cutting them out of a chance to buy property that the county wants to sell.

Then the people that over-bid and never paid will try to pick up the property for next to nothing, because it remains unsold at the auction. Maybe next time they can pick up those parcels for the minimum bid.

Not any more. John Dull, attorney for the commissioners, asked for and received approval from the commissioners to video record all auctions.

If the highest bidder does not pay for what the county lists as his purchase, the sale will go to the next highest bidder.

In addition to this action, the commissioners voted to sell properties at a minimum price of $300 per certificate at the tax sales of April 23, 2013 and July 23, 2013.

A new format has been established for municipalities to follow when they want to acquire property on the tax sale list.

The commissioner from the municipality’s district will have to sign a receipt, and a representative from the city or town must have the transfer of title recorded. In the future, no commissioner or staff member may carry that document to the clerk’s office for that other governmental agency.

Specific deadlines have been established. For the next tax sale, each commissioner was to have sent notice to the governmental units in his district by Jan. 18 on how to request property in their area. That municipality must return that request to the commissioners prior to their meeting on Feb. 20.

County employee Tramel Raggs has been assigned to go through the requests and work with each individual commissioner. The decision on what to approve will be made by the commissioner in whose district the property is located.

The Board of Commissioners will then approve the donations of certificates of ownership to those municipalities and also remove each parcel from the tax sale list at the commissioners’ meeting on March 20, 2013. There will be no more guesswork or last minute moving of property off of the tax sale auctions.



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