Beaufort County Treasurer Joy Logan is advising bidders to “bring a pillow” to Monday’s tax sale auction. As of Friday afternoon, about 1,600 delinquent properties were slated to be available to the highest bidder when the auction begins Monday. On the block are properties for which taxes have not been paid for the previous year. Logan expects the auction to last two or three days.

“We advise everybody to come prepared to sit for a little while,” Logan said. “Be comfortable, because it’s going to be crowded.” The county sold 1,230 properties for $2.82 million at last year’s auction, which lasted two days. Logan said the Treasurer’s Office is still tallying the value of this year’s unpaid taxes. Owners of delinquent properties sold at auction have one year to reclaim them by paying the taxes, with interest.

Any properties with no bids go to the Forfeited Land Commission, which accepts bids on them for a year before they are given to the county. Logan said all of those properties are generally bought or taxes are paid by the owner before the county takes ownership.

Logan said she doesn’t expect bidders to have as much money to bid as last year.

She also said bidders probably would be more interested in the interest they’d earn when delinquent owners pay off their taxes than in actually acquiring the properties.The interest rate on the delinquent taxes starts at 3 percent and rises by 3 percent each quarter.

Logan said about 250 properties remain unclaimed from last year’s auction. Ifowners don’t pay the taxes with interest, the bidders for those properties take ownership Tuesday.

Article taken from the Island Packet.