County panel discusses delinquent tax properties
by JOYANNA WEBER, Banner Staff Writer
May 14, 2013 | 1089 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Properties presenting unique problems were discussed by the Bradley County Tax Committee Monday.

Eleven pieces of land whose owners are delinquent on property taxes to the county and being considered for inclusion in the county’s next delinquent property tax auction sale were on the committee’s agenda.

Properties discussed included those that became county property at the 2011 tax sale and county-owned properties that potential owners have expressed interest in buying.

One property discussed was 10 feet by 70 feet.

“My recommendation on this is going to be that we don’t attempt to sell it right now,” Bradley County Attorney Crystal Freiberg said. “It’s basically a little postage stamp sized parcel.”

According to Freiberg, the small piece of land had been sold to a previous owner so he would be able to vote in Charleston.

“The other property owner gave him this [very small] lot, so that he could vote on something that was important to him in Charleston a long, long time ago,” Freiberg said. “The family that owns the surrounding parcel did not know the father had done that.”

The proximity of the piece of land to a railroad easement made Freiberg question if the land would be considered part of the easement. Freiberg said a survey would need to be done in order to provide an answer.

The committee followed the attorney’s recommendation not to include the property in the sale. The owners of the surrounding property told Freiberg if the land was ever sold, they were interested in buying it.

Committee member Ed Elkins said the property would still have to go through the bid process.

Another property had half a house on it.

The house was sitting on the dividing line of two properties with part of the structure on one and part on the other. Only one of the properties had become county property at a previous tax sale.

“She still owns this parcel (other half); however it is set to be sold in the tax sale coming up in July, if she doesn’t,” Freiberg said.

Freiberg said the property owner plans to pay off the taxes.

The resident of the house has expressed interest in buying the tax delinquent land so she will own both portions of the house again.

“Whoever buys this is buying it with this problem on it,” Freiberg said.

Elkins said if the property owner does not pay the taxes on the other property then potentially the county could own both properties. This would allow it to sell the consolidated parcel at a later date.

The committee voted to delay including the property in the next tax sale.

A property that cannot be built on was also recommended for the tax sale.

“Per Health Department is what I have in the notes,” Freiberg said.

Elkins said it looked like a structure on adjoining land was very close to the property line. Freiberg said the lines on the image being used are not always 100 percent accurate.

A property without a specific address was also approved for the sale.

Two properties had additional taxes due. One had taxes due to the city of Cleveland and another had a lien from a structure being demolished on the property by the city.

Freiberg said she would be speaking with the city of Cleveland to see if these taxes could be taken off to make the minimum bid requirement lower.

The delinquent property tax auction must be enough to cover back taxes or liens that have been placed on the property. The remaining properties were approved to be sold at the delinquent tax auction.