First Online Delinquent Property Tax Sale in Texas
Round Rock, TX (June 9, 2017) – On June 6, the Burnet County Central Appraisal District conducted its first delinquent property tax sale through an online auction. This technological advance is expected to put more funds in the coffers of the local governments so that they may continue to serve this growing community of almost 45,000.
An online auction allows more bidders to participate, regardless of weather, traffic, additional tax sales or other conditions that may otherwise limit their ability to arrive at the courthouse steps on the first Tuesday of any given month. Not only is it more convenient for local bidders, it opens sales to bidders in the Austin tech-hub, which is about 60 miles to the southeast of this Texas Hill Country community. In fact, bidders from around the world can now make real-time bids on these properties without having to be there in person.
Counties, cities, school districts and local governments like those in Burnet rely on delinquent tax collections to recoup essential operating revenue needed for vital community services like emergency response, veterans’ affairs, roads and law enforcement. When a resident is unable to pay their property taxes in a timely manner, they potentially face legal action.
In Burnet County, certain properties are offered for sale to the highest bidder on the courthouse steps when their owners do not pay property taxes that are owed to the local governments. According to Chief Appraiser Stan Hemphill, between 30 to50 properties are auctioned this way every year.
As previously reported in the DailyTrib.com, Burnet County commissioners took formal action to approve this innovative online auction system in February after the mandated 90-day waiting period.
Burnet County partnered with MVBA, the law firm of McCreary, Veselka, Bragg and Allen, P.C. (“MVBA”), head quartered in Round Rock, to design, implement, and run the online platform. “It is a real thrill for MVBA to partner with Burnet County to do the first online delinquent property tax sale in the State of Texas,” noted Matthew Tepper, a Partner at MVBA. “As other counties start implementing their own online delinquent property tax sales, Burnet County will be the model they follow. Judge Oakley and Chief Appraiser Stan Hemphill should be credited for taking the lead in the evolution of the tax sale process. It is an honor for MVBA to partner with a county that has such forward-thinking leadership.”
With over 55 years in the business of collecting governmental debts, MVBA has proven to be a pioneer in the field. Its work has kept them at the forefront of digital collections technology.
“MVBA, together with its clients, is on the cutting edge of ad valorem tax collection methods and practices to maximize local government revenues that provide critical services to taxpayers,” says Noé Reyes, a partner at the firm. “I envision that in 5, 10, or 20 years, tax sales will mostly take place online, perhaps exclusively. It’s the future. Burnet County and MVBA are already there.”