City Retrieves $3.9M In Delinquent Properties Taxes During 3-Day Online Tax Sale

NEW ORLEANS – The City of New Orleans announced the successful completion of this year’s tax sale of delinquent property taxes.
         The City held the three-day online tax sale April 12 through April 14, 2016, as part of the City’s continuing efforts to collect delinquent real estate taxes. This process began several months ago with 10,996 properties totaling $29.7 million in delinquent taxes, interest and other statutory impositions owed to governments in Orleans Parish. After a process involving several mailings, 7,582 delinquent properties, representing $17.2 million were cleared by property owners paying off the delinquent amounts or otherwise addressed by the process. By the time of the three-day tax sale, the tax sale title of 3,400 properties were offered for sale, and interested parties paid $3.9 million of delinquent taxes for almost 1,000 of these properties. Overall, 78 percent of the properties that began the tax sale process were cleared, and 71 percent of the dollars delinquent to local governments recovered.
         “The success of this annual sale should give citizens confidence in the process we employ to recover taxpayer dollars,” said Mayor Mitch Landrieu. “We’re committed to collecting the revenues that we are owed. The revenue raised will go toward our residents' top priorities including public safety, streets, jobs and opportunities for our kids."
         Councilmember-at-Large Stacy Head said, “The overall success of the city’s aggressive tax collection efforts means more revenue for basic city services and more properties returned to the tax rolls. By broadening our tax base and collecting the money owed to the City, we are spreading the burden of paying for government services to more of those who use them.”
         District B Councilmember LaToya Cantrell said, “Given the critical need for housing in New Orleans, I am happy that the tax certificate sale was a success, because I see it eventually producing more available homes for our citizens and eradicating blight. Plus, the city collects revenue by the sale and that enables us to further realize our current budget priorities.”
         A tax title sale takes place when a property in the City has delinquent taxes that have become overdue. At a tax sale, the tax sale title for these properties are sold to the public for the amount of the delinquent taxes due plus any accrued interest, penalties, costs and other statutory impositions. Property owners have a 3-year redemptive window in which to pay the purchaser the delinquent amount, a five percent penalty plus an additional one percent for every month since the tax sale took place.
         Successful purchasers of tax sale titles pay for their tax sale title after the close of the sale. However, purchasers do not immediately own the property. The property owner can redeem the property by repaying the purchaser plus penalties and interest within three years (or 18 months for blighted properties). Delinquent properties with tax sale titles unsold will be adjudicated to the City and become eligible for a future adjudicated tax auction in future years.

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