SD County To Auction Delinquent Properties, But Buyer Beware
Monday, February 20, 2012
Aired 2/20/12 on KPBS Midday Edition.
Dan McAllister, San Diego County Treasurer Tax Collector.
Every year, San Diego County auctions off properties from Jamul to the South Bay because the owners of those homes and lots are chronically behind on their property taxes.
This year, more than 200 properties wound up on the auction list. Owners can redeem their properties up until 5 p.m. Thursday, the night before the auction on Friday morning, Dan McAllister, the county’s treasurer and tax collector, told KPBS.
Most property owners end up meeting the deadline, saving their land from auction, he said.
“However we can’t be sure, and we have to notify the public that these auctions are taking place,” he said.
When the county ends up auctioning off properties, most are not desirable to own, McAllister said. He said many of the properties are in remote areas that are difficult to access, so owners decide it is easier to stop paying taxes on property they cannot use.
But this year, 15 out of 31 of the remaining properties are currently occupied by their owners, McAllister said.
That means it is up to the buyer to evict residents from their homes, he said.
If the county redeems all the remaining properties in its auction, it will bring in $2.1 million in back taxes and penalties, McAllister said.
“This is money governments really need right now,” he said.
Forty-two public school districts collect 42 percent of tax dollars collected, he said.
For more information on the properties and the auction, visit sdtreastax.com.