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Turnout is high and bidding is brisk at the county's auction of low-value, tax-delinquent lots.

CHARLOTTE COUNTY - Wondering if the area's supposed real-estate boom is for real? Stop by the county justice center one Thursday morning, and you'll get an idea. In a crammed third-floor courtroom, bidders offered double the amount  and sometimes much more for lots that, until recently, the county wasn't sure would fetch enough to cover the past-due taxes.

Last Thursday was the beginning of large-scale auctions of properties on which the county owed past years' tax bills. The auction resumed Thursday.

Why the increased popularity of land in Charlotte?

“It's the last area in Florida that's close to the water”- Donald Hamsher, of homebuilder Hamsher Homes opines.

So far, no lots have failed to sell at the auctions.

Of 45 lots that were scheduled for auction Thursday, 20 were sold. The owners of the remaining 25 lots paid theirs taxes beforehand to avoid the auction block. In all, about $ 90,000 in past-due taxes and interest was collected for those properties.

The bidding begins at the amount of debt -usually & 800 to $ 4000—and goes up from there. Some single family lots sold Thursday for more than $ 17,000 , and a bidding war sent the prices something up till $ 22,000.

 

The county doesn't own the properties taken to auction. It only collects tax debt and interest owed to it after property sells. Anything on top of that goes to the former owners.

What the county does collect goes to the Scholl Board, road and drainage districts, county government, and other authorities.

 

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