Lake County tax sale off to a million-dollar start

2013-04-24T18:30:00Z 2013-04-24T23:25:05Z Lake County tax sale off to a million-dollar startBill Dolan bill.dolan@nwi.com, (219) 662-5328 nwitimes.com
April 24, 2013 6:30 pm  • 

CROWN POINT | The Lake County commissioners' spring tax sale gleaned $1,285,800 in its first day.

County officials said the money was derived from the sale of 461 real estate parcels.

Hundreds of real estate speculators packed the Syd Garner auditorium at the Lake County Government Complex on Tuesday to bid on thousands of properties to recover a fraction of the millions of dollars owed in unpaid property taxes.

The sale continues through Thursday, and another is planned for July 23 to 25.

State law permits Indiana counties to recover unpaid taxes by taking ownership of the land and buildings on which the tax is due and selling them to the highest bidder.

About 80 percent of the properties on the auction block are in the depressed city of Gary.

Hundreds more are in Cedar Lake, Crown Point, East Chicago, Hammond, Hobart, Lake Station, Lowell, Merrillville, New Chicago, Schneider and St. John.

The sales reduce the burden on law-abiding property owners of supporting local government — either by finding speculators who will pay a fraction of the overdue taxes to take ownership of the delinquent properties or prompting tardy taxpayers to settle up to avoid losing their property.

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