Sealed bid auction open to public

By DaShanda Mosley

DeKalb County completed recently its tax deed proceedings and discovered several properties were delinquent for 2001 and previous real estate taxes.

These properties are now being offered to the public in a sealed bid auction.

The sealed bid cut-off date is Aug. 16 in the treasurer’s office of the DeKalb County Administration Building. According to auction department manager Jack Butler, any property that is not sold for a minimum bid of $479 will stand and be available next year.

Last month the Supreme Court ruled local governments could seize a person’s home or business if other construction would be more beneficial to the general public. For instance, private residences can be seized for the development of hotels, shopping malls, roads, hospitals and other structures.

With a 5-4 vote, the split had some justices arguing the ruling would give too much power to the rich, while other justices argued that in leaving these decisions for local government, only the properties that will be most worthwhile to the community as a whole will be seized.

The aforementioned properties were seized because of the non-payment of taxes.

“What is put onto [these properties] is completely up to the buyer to decide,” Butler said.

A profit is not expected to come from the auction, but the county expects other benefits.

“The funds generated from the sale of the property will go back into the taxing district, and that’s a great thing for the community,” Butler said.

Most of the lots have been vacant for the last two and a half years, but the county has high hopes for the land.

“With new ownership in the areas the appearance of the neighborhoods should be better and the value of the neighboring properties will go up,” Butler said.

The estates will be sold to the highest sealed bidder on or before Aug. 16. For more information about the auction or the properties that are available, contact the Auction Sale Department of the DeKalb County Tax Agent’s Office at 1-800-248-2850.