CROWN POINT | Lake County Treasurer John Petalas said he is encouraged by public interest in his nontraditional tax sale at the halfway mark.
Petalas said Tuesday his online auctioneer, Indianapolis-based SRI, reports fielding bids from hundreds more than the normal bidding traffic for tax-delinquent real estate.
Petalas said SRI already has brought in several hundreds of thousands of dollars in sales. He doesn't expect a final total until the sale ends next week.
The public can bid on more than 17,000 remaining properties by logging into the SRI website at www.sri-auctionsonline.com. A total of $90 million in back taxes is owed on the properties, he said.
The online auction replaces traditional sales during which bidders had to be present in the Lake County Government Complex auditorium for hours as the auctioneers went through each property, one by one.
Bidders can access the sale on personal computers, or public computers in the government complex. SRI staff will be in the complex cafeteria Thursday and Friday to assist bidders, Petalas said.
Petalas said more than 400 property owners avoided the tax sale by signing on to his office's amnesty plan. That plan forgives all late fees against anyone who failed to pay taxes last year or in prior years if current and old taxes and special assessments are paid in full by July 1, 2013.