ANDERSON — Investors snapped up hundreds of properties at Madison County's annual tax sale on Tuesday.
The goal of the day-long event was to try and collect more than $9.3 million in delinquent property taxes owed by county residents.
Final results of the sale won't be available until today, but the numbers will likely fall far short of that optimum goal. Those investors who bought property on Wednesday have until noon today to pay the amount they bid for properties.
William "Billy" Richards Jr. is an Indianapolis-based real estate manager and broker who attends tax sales throughout Indiana.
He's affiliated with a law firm that buys properties for clients and also sponsors an annual seminar that teaches lawyers and real estate professionals how to navigate the world of property at tax sales.
The No. 1 thing most people don't realize, he said, is that tax sales are court-ordered events because a property owner is delinquent on paying their taxes. That makes tax sale buyers "a party of interest in a lawsuit."
Tax sales are essentially an auction where potential buyers bid against one another. The initial bid price is the delinquent taxes owed on a property. If several potential buyers are interested in a parcel, however, the price can quickly soar past the back taxes that are owed.
KFC of Madison County LLC, for example, owns two properties on Scatterfield Road that were on the tax sale list.
The company owes just over $41,000 in back taxes on a parcel at 6620 S. Scatterfield Road near the Meijer store, and nearly $22,000 on another property at 1704 S. Scatterfield Road, according to county records.
The final bid price on the property near Meijer came to $360,000; the final bid for the other parcel was $104,000. As of mid-afternoon Wednesday, those were the highest prices paid for any property on the tax sale list.