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County unloads Carroll Valley land holdings

Richard D. L. Fulton

(7/22) More than a dozen Carroll Valley properties have been sold by the county for as little as $100 each as the result of the county Tax Services Department ridding itself of accrued lots seized for delinquent tax payments.

Daryl Crum, director of the county Department of Tax Services, said that 25 properties located in Carroll Valley Borough had been listed in the county’s land repository for final disposal. The lands represented properties that had failed to sell in two previous tax sales.

Two of those properties were removed from the list as their owners fulfilled their tax obligations before the bidding was closed on May 15, the director stated.

The 23 properties were sold through what Crum described as a "closed bidding" process. The properties involved had failed two previous attempts (as required) to dispose of them through the open bidding process in September, Crum said.

As a result, they were put up for one final round with no minimum bid to anyone who had previously participated in bidding on any of the tracts being offered in the September sale. Since only previous bidders were permitted to participate in the final round, the process was considered a "closed bidding" one.

Crum said there were "quite a lot" of parcels that were seized by the county for tax sale among a number of municipalities. He said the quantity was "more than in the past."

In fact, the county found itself in possession of so many tracts they developed a policy of how to dispose of those that failed to sell through the normal auction process.

After the last round, in which all 23 remaining Carroll Valley lots were sold, "We took any offer," Crum stated. He noted that 13 of the 23 sold for $100 each, "but that most of them were lot like that."

Crum said the premise behind the take-whatever-can-be-had final sales was to get these properties out of county hands and back onto the tax rolls, and with the hope that they will be developed or otherwise improved to generate even more tax revenue in the future.

Both the borough involved and the applicable school district had to approve the list of sales before the sale was considered final. Crum said it appeared both entities in the case of the Carroll Valley properties had done so and those placing the winning bids would be notified soon.

Most of the lots were around a half acre in size, with two having been more than one acre. A variety of zoning districts were represented among the lots.

Winning bidders will receive the deeds to the lands they won “divested of all claims” on payment for property in full in 60s days in addition to costs associated with closing the sale, once they are formerly notified by the county that the sale has been given final approval to the transactions.

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