Tax sale tally ‘better than usual’
STEUBENVILLE — Results from last week’s auditors sale are still being totaled, but Jefferson County officials say it looks to be “better than usual.”
“It went pretty well,” Assistant Prosecutor Cerryn Marshall said Monday. “We ‘rough-counted about 440 to 450 properties sold, but we’ll get a (final) total.”
Ohio law mandates that any tract “foreclosed upon for delinquent taxes or a tax lien that has been properly offered for sale on two separate occasions, not less than two weeks apart and not sold, shall be forfeited to the state and the county auditor will offer it for sale to the highest bidder.”
Any assessments the city placed to recoup costs for grass cutting, demolition or water would be abated at the conclusion of the sale.
Mortgage debt and federal liens would remain, however.
Marshall, who oversaw the auditor’s sale, said they’d originally expected to be done in just one day, Thursday, but response was so strong they ended up returning Friday to finish up.
“There were about 800 properties on the list (to start) but some came off because (the owner) paid prior to the sale,” Marshall said.
Steubenville Urban Projects Director Chris Petrossi was pleased with the response.
“I believe most at this sale were vacant lots, without structures,” Petrossi said. “So I’m hopeful residents or businesses purchased adjacent lots to expand (their) yard area and will maintain and improve them. More lots with buildings on them will go at the sheriff’s sale later this year.”
The sheriff’s sales are set for Nov. 21 and Dec. 12.
Previously, Marshall had pointed out between 1999 and 2017, a total of 2,385 parcels had sold.
She’d also said the Jefferson County Land Bank gets first chance at the properties and over the years had pulled the trigger on 195 of them.
Officials have said the goal is to get vacant and dilapidated properties back on the tax rolls.