June 14th, 2013
Bogalusa city officials appeared on the cutting edge of technology when they took the initiative to conduct the annual auction of properties with delinquent property taxes online.
Turns out not only were they computer savvy but financially prudent as well. The first online event of its kind for Bogalusa raised nearly $23,000, as compared to a paltry $897 in 2012.
Perhaps more importantly, the city collected the majority of taxes owed even before the first virtual gavel signaled the opening of the online bidding. A company specializing in third-party government tax collections had sent notices to owners of 749 properties that were delinquent with their 2012 property taxes. Of that number, 658 ponied up, sending $161,967 to the city.
Combined, the sale brought in nearly $185,000, a tidy sum that is sure to bolster the budget.
Interestingly, four potential buyers registered at City Hall last year for the auction; online the auction attracted 19 bidders.
City officials were justifiably giddy with the auction’s success. They modernized what is normally a dry and not necessarily a financially lucrative annual event and turned it into a significant fundraiser.
Creativity of this type is required to continue to move the city forward.
Jerry Bailey said he was pleased with the online auction’s maiden trip but added the new system would encourage property owners to pay their taxes in a timely manner and attract more investors in the delinquent property auction. Either way, the city reaps the fiscal windfall.
Who would have thought one could Build a Better Bogalusa one byte at a time?
Credit: The Daily News