An Ohio County's tax lien sale of unpaid penalties and taxes on more than 1,000 properties resulted in more than $1.1 million.
Private Cincinnati company Tax Ease Ohio paid Columbiana County $560,000 for the bundle and the county's certified letter campaign warning delinquent taxpayers resulted in another $584,000 in payments.
Tax Ease Ohio will now collect on the debt in purchases from the county. The company will charge delinquent taxpayers 18% interest.
The sale was Columbiana County's' first tax lien sale. County Treasurer Linda Bolon said selling tax liens helps revenue, motivates delinquent taxpayers to make good, returns delinquent property to active tax rolls and helps avoid drawn-out, costly foreclosure actions.
Nearly half of the people receiving letters notifying them of the planned sale either paid their entire delinquent bill or entered into a payment contract, according to county officials.
Ohio law allows counties to turn over unpaid taxes to collection agencies.
Bolon said Tax Ease Ohio rejected some of the county's delinquent properties. The county will review starting foreclosure procedures on those properties.
Bolon told local media that delinquent taxes have been reduced from $11 million to $8.5 million since she took office, according to WFMJ, an NBC television affiliate. The county plans to conduct tax lien sales each year with the next one set for September.