Posted on

County sells off nine seized properties

By Kevin O’Brien

Marathon County has found success in using the Wisconsin Surplus Online Auction to sell off seized tax-delinquent properties, according to county clerk Kim Trueblood.

“I think this was a great way to go to divest of these properties,” she told members of the Human Resources, Finance and Personnel Committee at an April 10 meeting.

Trueblood said the county will be receiving a $103,201 check from the auction site after nine parcels were sold, which should be enough to “zero out” the outstanding

See PROPERTIES/ page 2 Properties

Continued from page 1

property taxes owed by the former property owners. Any unsold properties will remain listed on the site until they are sold, she said, and additional seized parcels will be added in the future.

According to the online auction site, a half-acre vacant lot on Township Road in the town of Bern near Athens sold for $3,025, and two wooded lots west of Fifth Avenue in the village of Edgar remain listed.

Committee chairman John Robinson said the online auctioning process should go a long way in reducing the county’s backlog of tax-delinquent properties, which has been a priority of the HRFP for years now.

Corporation counsel Michael Puerner also updated the committee on the county’s in rem process for seizing tax-delinquent properties, which was first implemented last year. In rem allows the county to seek court action against numerous properties at once instead of doing it one property at a time through a tax deed.

Puerner said he and the county treasurer’s office are working on getting two rounds of parcels through the court process, and although there have been a couple hiccups, overall the procedure has run “pretty smoothly.” He said each round started with 50 properties, but those numbers dropped to 45 or lower when some property owners made payment arrangements.

“We have improved the process. The in rem tool is useful,” he said. “Having the tax deed tool, if we need to use that, is going to be useful as well.”

In January, county treasurer Connie Beyersdorf told supervisors that the county has collected over $6 million in past-due taxes over the last two years from property owners who have been warned about the county’s intent to claim their land if the debts are not resolved.

A May 23 court date is scheduled for the first round of in rem foreclosures, Puerner said.