If you’re a current subscriber, log in below. If you would like to subscribe, please click the subscribe tab above.
Username and Password Help
BOS weighing potential for more revenues against concerns over local access
From Staff Reports
Local residents looking to bid on property in the county’s annual delinquent tax sales may have to do so as part of an online auction in the future.
Supervisors are considering joining many other counties in the state in going to an online auction to collect delinquent property taxes. David Myers, Vice-President of Business Development for Madison-based GovEase, pitched the idea to county officials during their regular monthly meeting Monday morning in Leakesville.
Myers told supervisors he was confident his company and its process for conducting the tax sale online would increase the county’s overbid revenue, which is the difference between what is owed in taxes and what a bidder pays for the right to earn the interest revenue when the taxes are settled, or potentially end up with ownership of the property in the cases where the taxes are not paid.
In his presentation, Myers said Greene County realized $29,132 in overbid revenue in 2018 for an overbid rate of nine percent. He projected the county could push that number to just under $39,000 (or 12 percent) in 2019 if supervisors elected to take the process online and use GovEase to do so. He said the county would also benefit from the efficiencies created by the process, doing away with a lot of employee labor costs to record the transactions and data after the sale date. He said with GovEase all those types of transactions are recorded with one click of the computer mouse.
The cost to the county would be 1.25 percent of the total sale, buy Meyers said the increase in overbid revenue would more than make up for that fee. He added that the contract for GovEase was for one sale at a time, allowing supervisors to opt out without penalty if they were not fully satisfied.
Myers did acknowledge that supervisors would likely experience some pushback from local residents due to the change. That is the part county officials were concerned about.
To alleviate some of that issue, Myers said his company would contact previous local bidders about the change and provide online and onsite training and registration for those interested. Any local bidders that joined the process would join the over 4,000 currently registered bidders already using GovEase to invest in tax sale properties.
Greene County Tax Assessor Mark Holder said roughly 30 bidders were on hand for last year’s sale, but that roughly 20 of them were involved for the purpose of bidding on specific pieces of property. He said that left relatively few investors to bid on the lion’s share of the properties up for bid.
“I can handle the sale doing it the way we’ve been doing it, but there is a trend that is coming that we need to take into consideration,” Holder said, adding that he feared the county could start to see fewer and fewer investors for the in-person auctions if supervisors didn’t take the process online.
Supervisors took the matter under advisement, saying they needed to gauge local reaction to the idea and consider things such as poor internet access in many parts of the county and a lack of familiarity with online navigation among older residents who have historically made up a good percentage of the local bidder pool in the county.
Supervisors also covered a good bit of issues related to county roads and bridges. Engineer Jason Lamb met with the board and covered a range of projects including the awarding of a $249,034.50 contract to Warren Paving for a paving project in Dist. 5 and a roughly $1.4-million project to Magco, Inc. for bridge replacements on Piave Plaza Road in Dist. 3.
In other business, supervisors:
– accepted a bid of $1,877 for a 2006 GMC pickup declared as surplus property by Dist. 4;
– rejected a bid offer of $3,777 for a 2009 Ford F150 declared as surplus by Dist. 4;
– approved $1,000 to the LJHS Jr. Beta Club for student involvement in this summer’s national convention;
– set July 4 and 5 as official Independence Day holidays for county offices and employees;
– discussed office space needs with Sheriff Stanley McLeod for the county’s truant officer (no decision made);
– approved the sheriff’s purchase of a new patrol pickup for a state bid price of roughly $30,000 using funds from criminal seizures; and
– approved a motion by Dist. 3 Supervisor Jerry Mills to borrow $100,000 via a tax anticipation loan for road district operations through the remainder of the fiscal year. The loan would be paid off in full in March 2020 after tax collections for 2020 begin to roll in to county coffers.
The next meeting of the board of supervisors is set for June 25th.