Marion County will hold its 2019 tax sale early next year, after a clerical error forced the Treasurer’s Office to cancel the event scheduled for Thursday and Friday.
According to the Treasurer’s Office, about 1,192 parcels were up for bid as part of the sale, with minimum bids totaling just more than $6 million.
The county informed registered bidders and the public late Wednesday—through its website, an email and a recorded message on the office’s phone line—that a “clerical error in required legal submissions” would prevent the two-day event from going on as scheduled.
While those properties were expected to move to next year’s event, scheduled for Oct. 22-23, 2020, the the county said late Thursday the 2019 sale will occur Friday, Feb. 14.
The switch comes after “[all] agencies involved in administering the tax sale … worked together to map out the legal process” to reschedule the event, according to a news release from the Auditor’s Office.
Indiana law only permits counties to hold a tax sale once every year, and the Marion County event has historically been held in the fall. But the county said it will be able to have both sales next year because they involve tax records from different years.
Delinquent property owners will have until Nov. 12 to repay taxes on the properties and remove them from the sale. Each minimum bid is calculated by the amount of taxes, penalties and special assessments due on the property, as well as administrative costs.
The Treasurer’s Office has not said what clerical error caused the 2019 sale to be canceled.
A lengthy legal process is required before a property can be listed at the year tax sale, including a three-month notification period for property owners affected by the auction and judicial certification that a property qualifies for the tax sale. Properties that are at least 15 months delinquent on property taxes three months prior to the sale are eligible to be included in the sale.
The affected properties also cannot be placed in the spring surplus sale, because that is only open to parcels that don’t receive bids during the regular tax sale, provided they go through an additional notification period to give the property owner another chance to catch up on taxes.
Bidders who registered to participate in this year’s sale will be refunded their $1,000 deposits “by the end of the week,” the county said.
The tax sale is one of Marion County’s larger outside revenue sources, with many properties receiving multiple bids that drive the final sale price higher than what’s owed on the parcels.