By Paige Nash
The Claiborne Parish Police Jury (CPPJ) has been using CivicSource, a property auction authority, for approximately 6-7 years to handle their adjudicated property. Adjudicated property is real or immovable property that has been placed under the control of a government entity due to failure to pay taxes. The Claiborne Parish Police jury currently has over 80 adjudicated properties on their hands.
The CPPJ partnered with CivicSource to manage and auction these properties, so that they would no longer be under the control of the jury and would place them back on the parish tax roll. Over the span of the 6-7 years, CivicSource has only sold one of these properties.
Wesley Johnson with E & P Consulting, LLC out of Monroe attended last month’s regularly scheduled police jury meeting and believes she can assist in having this list of properties reclaimed or sold at a much cheaper cost for the jury.
One significant difference is how the auction of the property will be handled.
“We do have a website, but it is informational only,” said Johnson. “We do not auction through the website. The auction is here. I draft a script and an employee sits right here and has an auction.”
There is a button on their website that clicks through directly to the local tax accessor website.
“There is a button that says, ‘List of adjudicated properties.’ People identify the one that they want, and we start the process,” said Johnson.
Interested buyers will pay an administrative fee of $1,000, the cost from start to finish, in addition to the cost of the property which will go directly to the police jury at the end of the process.
“The best thing for you is that this property is redeemed,” said Johnson. “What may happen is a catalyst that people will start talking and they will go and redeem their properties as well.”
Some Claiborne Parish residents may be eligible for the “Lot Next Door Program.” This is an equity program where residents may pay a fee and take over ownership of a vacant lot that is located next to an occupied residential or commercial property that they own, following a 12-month period during which the owner has appropriately maintained the property. Residents eligible for this program will receive the property at minimum bid set at two-thirds of the tax accessor’s last evaluation.
“It is either that or the back tax bill, whichever is the lower figure,” said Johnson.
Although, there are occasions where property will sell for more than it is worth.
“The tax collector will get a check on every property. We recommend that you have an agreement with the tax collector that the overage is there to buffer situations where they are going to have to cancel out dollars,” said Johnson.
The police jury voted unanimously to begin the process of switching their adjudicated property management to E & P Consulting.
The auction will be open to the public, but the date has not been set yet and will be announced at a later time following the process of changing managment.