In Stanislaus County, Calif., government officials collected more than $1.9 million in back taxes and proceeds this week from an auction of 30 tax-delinquent properties.
There were 86 registered bidders in attendance, and all of them came with enough cash or cashier's checks to pay for properties on the spot. Uniformed law enforcement officers were on hand to keep the money and crowd safe and county officials used a cash-counting machine to ensure the totals were correct, according to The Modesto Bee.
Most of the $1.9 million was a result of the sale of two tracts of vacant land that each were more than five years delinquent on tax payments:
• A 52-acre development where luxury homes were supposed to be built sold for the bid minimum of $555,700, just enough to cover back property taxes. But the new owners will have to settle separately with a nearby water district, which is owed nearly $215,000 in delinquent water fees. That's a combined total of $770,700. The rural residential property's value most recently was assessed at $316,011.
• An estimated 23-acre property sold for $510,000 after aggressive bidding by several potential buyers. CEB Holdings LLC, which is affiliated with Modesto, Calif.-based developer Bright Homes, was the high bidder. The property's assessed value is just $370,000.
While the land sold for more than the tax debt, the government won't get to keep the extra cash. The excess proceeds will be held for one year, which gives the property's other creditors a chance to file claims and perhaps collect some of that what they're owed. The property is designated for multifamily housing but is currently vacant. It was owned by White Tail Crossings LLC, which filed for bankruptcy protection last year.