By Josh Mitchell

Missourian Staff Writer

Franklin County Collector Linda Emmons said she cannot remember a more lackluster tax sale than the one that happened Monday.

She said many properties were offered for sale but not many were purchased.

There were 236 properties offered in the sale, and only 55 sold. And 181 of the properties received no bids.

Most of the properties that sold were vacant parcels, but some had mobile homes and houses, Emmons said.

Ownership of 33 properties was turned over to the county after the tax sale. If properties go through three tax sales with no bids, then ownership is conveyed to the county, Emmons said.

The 55 properties that sold brought in $71,038. Of that, $57,369 was for back taxes, interest and fees. The other $13,669 was a result of competitive bidding.

The back taxes made in the tax sale are disbursed to the taxing entities. The fees are put into general revenue to cover the collector’s expenses of having the tax sale, such as the title search, recording fees and advertising, she said.

If property sells in the first and second tax sales, then the original owner has one year from the date of the sale to get the property back by paying the back taxes, interest and fees.

If the property sold in the third tax sale, then the original owner only has 90 days from the date of the sale to get the property back.

The county has about 330 properties that it owns as a result of people failing to pay taxes, Emmons said.

An effort is under way in the county now to create an online system where those properties are listed with information such as photos, maps, topography data and taxes due, Emmons said.

Currently, Emmons said, the county uses an outdated system in which the properties are listed in a book.

This has created problems for the trustee of the properties, Don Wurdack of Franklin County Title, Emmons said. This is because people go to his office wanting to look through the book with the properties. This is a distraction from his normal business activities.

Emmons said she thinks Wurdack will quit being the trustee if the new online system is not created.

“We need the trustee,” she said.

The new system may also help the county sell more properties, she said.

“It’s just trying to modernize things,” she said, adding that she hopes it can be done this year.