Las Vegas Sun

December 19, 2014

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Auction of delinquent-tax properties nets more than $2 million

Properties with delinquent taxes were put up for auction by Clark County this morning, offering investors willing to put down cash an opportunity to score a deal.

A total of 39 properties were sold during a live auction Thursday and today, netting more than $2 million.

A vacant 6.6-acre parcel on the corner of Las Vegas Boulevard and Richmar Avenue sparked a bidding war that drove the sale price of property to $1.6 million, the highest of the two-day auction.

The parcel also offered perhaps the best deal of the day. County records show it sold for $9.8 million in 2011.

Properties up for auction ranged from vacant parcels to residential homes to commercial buildings.

The lowest sale price was $1,400 for a vacant parcel in the northwest valley, with other sales ranging from tens of thousands of dollars up to $300,000.

About two dozen bidders, each of whom paid $1,000 to register, crowded the county commission chambers this morning. Those who submitted winning bids had until 4 p.m. to pay.

The owners of all the properties auctioned were delinquent on their taxes for at least three years.

Between 250 and 500 properties fall in that category in a given year, but only a fraction end up making it to auction. In most cases, the owner pays the back taxes after one of several notifications sent by the county, Assistant Treasurer Rebecca Coates said.

This week’s sale netted more than $2 million, but the county probably won’t see much of the proceeds. The county takes enough to cover the back property taxes and up to $1,300 more to cover the cost of running the auction, Coates said.

The rest is put into a trust for one year, during which time the former owner, their beneficiaries or anyone else with a legal claim to the auctioned property can claim the remaining proceeds from the sale.

Any unclaimed money left over after a year — a rare occurrence, Coates said — is transferred to the county’s general fund.

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