Lake County Government Center stock

The entrance to the Lake County Government Center in Crown Point.

Doug Ross, The Times

CROWN POINT — The Lake County Treasurer's Office collected $10.7 million in back taxes at its annual real estate auction.

Treasurer Peggy Katona said the county sold 588 properties where their owners had fallen more than 18 months behind on their taxes. She said that is 90 more than they sold in 2016.

The sales generated $10.7 million in revenues to local government, she said, which is $2 million more than in 2016.

The tax sale was conducted by online auctioneer, Indianapolis-based SRI.

Katona said it's the largest sale in the state.

The county annually offers more than 10,000 parcels with a collective debt exceeding $100 million. Most of the uncollected taxes and fees involve real estate in Gary and other pockets of the county's blighted urban landscape, where decades of unemployment have produced hundreds of derelict houses and businesses.

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Bill has reported in Lake County since 1972 after graduating from Indiana University. He has worked for The Times since 1997, covering the courts and local government during much of his tenure. Born and raised in New Albany, Ind., he is a native Hoosier.