Lake County commissioners' summer tax sales heats up

2012-06-27T10:53:00Z Lake County commissioners' summer tax sales heats upBy Bill Dolan bill.dolan@nwi.com, (219) 662-5328 nwitimes.com

CROWN POINT | Lake County commissioners have put more than $649,000 in the public treasury from their version of a second-hand sale.

Lake County Attorney John Dull said 1,126 tax-delinquent real estate parcels have been sold out of the thousands that went on the auction block Tuesday and Wednesday, the first two days of the commissioners' summer tax sale.

Dull said owners of the properties have failed to pay their taxes for several years.

The sale will continue at 8:30 a.m. today for any remaining properties.

Although a tax sale last spring brought in more than $3.4 million, Dull said the properties now on auction were expected to sell for less because they were passed over during the previous auction.

"People are finding some gems that fell through the cracks of the other sale," Dull said.

He said an abandoned service station in Crown Point and a number of residential properties were among those sold.

The county treasurer's office will offer as many as 14,000 more tax-delinquent properties during a 10-day Internet tax sale tentatively scheduled to begin Aug. 17.

Treasurer John Petalas said SRI Inc. will conduct the computer-based auction. The properties will be listed on its corporate website at http://www.sri-taxsale.com.

Petalas said he wants to remind the public that the county's tax amnesty program begins next week.

The county will waive all late fees against anyone who failed to pay taxes either last year or prior years if they come into his office, beginning Monday, and make arrangements to pay the old taxes and special assessments in full and all taxes due this year and next spring.

The payments must be completed by July 1, 2013.

Petalas said there currently is more than $160 million in overdue taxes, interest and penalties. He said he hopes to recover more than $5 million in back taxes.

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