Jennings County Treasurer Sandy Vance, left, confers with attorney Alex Bruggenschmidt and client support specialists Bryan Martin, and Jennifer Roberts on details of the tax sale that took place Thursday.
The Commissioners' Room at the Jennings County Government Center in Vernon was abuzz Thursday with buyers vying for properties in Jennings County available for sale because of delinquent property taxes on them. In all, 1,417 properties were originally certified to be sold. Prior to the sale, delinquent taxes on 192 properties were paid, coming to a total of $244,249.36. The number of properties offered Thursday was 1,217, and the total amount of property taxes due on them was $1,214,80.28. Ninety-four properties ended up being sold at the event, a total of $804,754.63 coming in from them. County Treasurer Sandra Vance and Auditor Janice Ramey conducted the sale, along with SRI Inc. and Zionsville attorney Alex Bruggenschmidt. "Tax sales are a necessary function of county government," Vance said. "It is only fair to the people who pay their property taxes every year to pursue those that do not pay." Ramey added, "It is our ultimate goal to return these properties to the tax rolls as quickly and efficiently as possible. Property owned by people that pay their property taxes ensures our local government services are fully funded." Once a property is sold, the original owner may redeem their property, but not without a penalty. Property taxes must be paid in full and if done so within six months of the sale a 10 percent penalty will be levied. After six months, the penalty raises to 15 percent. The tax sale resulted in the collection of $380,379.61 in delinquent property taxes with 286 parcels having all taxes, penalties and costs paid in full. The cost of the tax sale to the county was $12,115.