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Land tax sale to be online Monday

Lincoln County’s first online land sale auction will be held Monday.

It’s also the first tax certificate sale in  the state for CivicSource, the company approved by Lincoln County Board of Supervisors to conduct the sale.

A 16-page list of properties up for grabs was published Aug. 10, Aug. 17 and Aug. 24 in The Daily Leader, but the more than 1,500 properties are also listed online at civicsource.com.

In the past, bidders gathered at the Lincoln County Government Courthouse in the circuit courtroom upstairs over a two-day period and participated in a high-bid auction with numbered paddles, said Tax Assessor/Collector Blake Pickering.

That won’t be the case this year.

The sale will be held Monday only. The high-bid auction will be open online at CivicSource.com from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Investors must register at CivicSource.com prior to bidding. They’ll add bank account information so winning bids can be deducted automatically. They’ll also need to submit a W9.

Because this is a change to the usual process for bidding on tax delinquent properties, Pickering will have employees from his staff as well as CivicSource in the supervisors’ boardroom during the hours of the sale Monday for any bidders who may need assistance during the auction. There will also be computers available, but Pickering encourages bidders to bring their laptops, tablets or even smart phones if possible. Wi-Fi will be available.

Pickering said CivicSource is conducting the auction at no charge to the county. They receive their pay from a fee imposed on the winning bidder of 1.5 percent of the property purchase price, which will be capped at $15 per transaction.

That fee, which goes to CivicSource, has not been imposed in the past, he said.

Allowing CivicSource to conduct the auction will also save the county money since Pickering’s office won’t be tied up for two days. He must close his office for the two-day sales.

Circuit court judges can’t use the courtroom during the physical sale either, so having it online will free up that space as well.

Pickering said the county will also make more money on an online sale because it opens it up to bidders in other locations.

Even when with the yearly sale online, the delinquent properties will continue to be published in The Daily Leader prior to the bidding, he said.

“It helps people to get that list and research what they may want to buy,” he said.