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County moves towards annual tax sale

Next step involves fees added to the unpaid taxes

POSTED January 25, 2012 2:49 p.m.
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Barton County Abstract will continue to perform title searches on properties that are still in the works for the 2012 tax sale with no increase in fees for this year, the Barton County Commission decided this week.
It’s the next step in the process that leads to getting as many pieces of real estate as possible off the tax sale list prior to next October, the commission was told.
The point of the whole process is to get the back taxes that are owed to the county — not to sell real estate.
For that to happen, however, a number of steps have to be taken during the course of the year and one is for the background on each piece of real estate with delinquent taxes to be researched.
That work will be performed by the local abstracting firm, which is the only business equipped to handle it, County Administrator Richard Boeckman explained.
And that work will be done for $65 per parcel, which is the same price that Barton County Abstract has charged for the third year, according to Pam Curtis, of BCA.
Boeckman explained the abstract performs title searches to determine whether there are liens against any of the property in question and to make sure that the owners of record are identified. He also told commissioners that he met with officials from other counties recently and learned that some of them haven’t conducted tax sales for years, leaving them with huge amounts of unpaid taxes on the books.
County Treasurer Kevin Wondra, told the commission earlier that there are more parcels at risk this year than there have been in the past.
This year the county started with 356 properties, plus three that didn’t sell at last October’s sale, Wondra explained, for a total of 359 properties on the sale. That number will undoubtedly drop quickly as properties are brought up to date. That is in keeping with other years as well.
Nevertheless, Wondra explained, the county is beginning the year with a larger number than it has in recent years.
Usually, Wondra noted, the year begins with about 200 properties on the list.

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