Controversy surrounds online delinquent property tax auctions

Controversy surrounds online delinquent property tax auctions

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Hinds County Tax Collector Eddie Fair entered into a one year pilot program with GovEase for an online delinquent property tax sales in District Two, which houses Raymond and Utica.

District One Supervisor Robert Graham wants the online bidding process expanded to his district.

According to county officials, the online auctions brought in $60,000. Seven thousand dollars was paid to GovEase, the auction facilitator.

“The company that we have doing this estimates that we could probably gain as much as two-million-dollars going toward fixing road in Hinds county, fixing potholes. That would give us additional funds in order to do that,” said Graham.

Hinds County District One Supervisor Robert Graham wants online delinquent property auctions expanded to his district to help people with mobility issues and are unable to attend the auctions in person. Source: WLBT
Hinds County District One Supervisor Robert Graham wants online delinquent property auctions expanded to his district to help people with mobility issues and are unable to attend the auctions in person. Source: WLBT

Fair said the last in person auctions collected twelve-million-dollars for the county, an increase of more than $33,600.

He said online bidding leads too hard to reach out of state property owners who often neglect and write off the property.

“I want to look out for the people of Hinds County, the citizens of Hinds County, the people that’s losing their property,” said Fair. “When you do local people, you have a chance of getting your property back.”

Hinds County land owner Vicki Ellis is with PAR Ventures LLC and voiced her opposition to the online auction process.

“These big corporations that we don’t know where they are that are logging in with their computers, placing massive bids, then disappearing. They’re not putting money back in the state of Mississippi and we are. We’re very interested in getting the tax payers back on the land rolls,” said Ellis.

Hinds County Tax Collector Eddie Fair opposes the online auctions citing difficulty of reaching bid winners who are often out of state and neglect the properties. Source:WLBT
Hinds County Tax Collector Eddie Fair opposes the online auctions citing difficulty of reaching bid winners who are often out of state and neglect the properties. Source:WLBT

Independent bidder Phyllis Barker also attended the board meeting and is concerned.

“Out of town bidders who acquire our properties often times will neglect them,” said Barker. “We care about where we live. We care about these properties locally. We want to keep our neighborhoods, our homes, our streets, our communities safe."

The tax collectors office is authorized to enter into an agreement with an online provider to conduct tax sales using online bidding and sale. The agreement must be ratified by the board of supervisors.

After debate the tax collector agreed to re-enter into a contract for an online auction for District Two for the next auction which will be held on August 28th.

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