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A bid for better tax auctions

A change in bidding procedures for those who want to buy properties at the county’s Tax Claim Auction is a common-sense move that should have been made years ago.

Prospective bidders will no longer be able to show up and bid. Instead, they will go through a registration process that will allow municipalities to approve or object to specific bidders. That process has to be completed 10 days before the tax sale so that the list of registered bidders can be spread to area officials and be reviewed.

In the past, some people have fallen behind on their tax obligations, had a property enter the Tax Claim Auction process, created an LLC and then bought the property back. Others buy properties in the auction but quickly find themselves in over their head making repairs, leading to a property that continues falling into disrepair. Other bidders buy dozens of properties and can’t maintain them all.

The registration process will help weed out those who have unpaid taxes or own properties that have code violations.

This is a good change — provided county government keeps the registration process simple.

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