Ten properties up for tax sale on Dec. 9

Published 11:42 am Monday, November 22, 2010

COURTLAND—Ten Southampton County properties will be on the auction block on Thursday, Dec. 9, after owners failed to their pay real estate taxes.

The auction begins at 10 a.m. in the Board Room at the County Administration Building at 26022 Administration Center Drive, Courtland.

The county can sell properties for which real estate taxes are at least two years in the arrears, said County Treasurer David Britt. The property taxes on one of the parcels haven’t been paid on since 2000.

“Most of these parcels’ owners are deceased, or we cannot locate the heirs to the property,” Britt said.

All but one property are residential parcels, and most are vacant lots, said auctioneer Roy Black with Virginia Auction Co. in Suffolk.

“Before the county gets to this point, they have done everything humanly possible to get the people to pay their taxes,” said Black, who has been doing similar auctions for 27 years. “It’s serious when the county or city takes someone’s property.”

The commercial property is a former auto mechanic’s garage on South Quay Road near Franklin that’s in poor condition, Black said.

“Most of these things, if they haven’t paid taxes, they quit maintaining it,” he said. “Once they quit maintaining them, then they start to become an eyesore.”

Other properties are located on Maple Avenue in Sedley, Broadwater Road in Ivor, in Hercules, Barrow Road in the Capron-Drewryville area, Pittman Road in Boykins, off Jill Circle and Main Street, both in Courtland, Rivers Mill Road in Drewryville, and Thomaston Road and General Thomas Highway, both in Newsoms.

There are no minimum bids and buyers do not have to pay past due property taxes, Black said.

“What you have to pay is what you bid plus you pay for recording (the deed) in your name,” he said. “The court has a right to accept or reject bids. The court wants to make sure we get the highest dollar.”

In an attempt to do so, Virginia Auction Co. advertises properties for sale on the Internet and in the newspaper, and posts a sign on each. During the two to three auctions Black conducts annually for Southampton County, about 75 potential buyers will attend.

The county collects taxes annually on 13,000 to 14,000 parcels, Britt said.