By Ken de la Bastide Kokomo Tribune
---- — Howard County collected more than $416,000 in back property taxes and liens during its annual tax sale last week.
The number of properties eligible to be placed on the tax role sale list dropped from 1,113 on July 1 to 551 as of Tuesday, Auditor Martha Lake said.
During the tax sale, the county received bids on 127 of the properties, resulting in $416,547 being collected for distribution to local tax units. Last year, Lake said, the county collected $295,438, Lake said.
There were bids of more than $1,811,735 in surplus funds collected on the 127 properties.
“We had a good tax sale,” Lake said.
Lake said a total of $2,229,283 was taken in during the sale.
Property owners have one year to redeem their properties by paying the taxes owed, a $100 tax sale fee and by paying interest to the bidders that submitted winning bids.
The surplus funds are placed into a separate account pending redemption.
Lake said if a property is redeemed, the owner is required to pay 10 percent in interest for the first six months and 15 percent for the second six months to the winning bidder.
“Properties that are not redeemed are notified that we have funds for them,” Lake said.
“If they don’t claim the money, after three years the money goes into the county’s general fund.”