NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Preliminary numbers show the City of New Orleans brought in more than $2 million in its first online adjudicated property auction.
A news release from the mayor's office says as of 9:15 p.m. Wednesday, 79 properties sold with winning bids that totaled $2,526,955.
The auction featured properties whose owners had not paid taxes in years, sometimes decades. The city says all of the property owners have received multiple notices of the taxes owed.
The minimum starting price on the properties factored in the cost of legal notifications, research, closing costs and title insurance.
Selling a neglected property at auction can be a win for both neighborhoods tired of blight and a city in need of cash.
Deputy Mayor Andy Kopplin notes, "If you're in a neighborhood where there's a tax delinquent property, they're probably not cutting the grass, not maintaining it. So a new owner's going to come in and be able to clean that up. So we're going to collect the tax money and fight blight in one online auction."
The city had been frustrated in efforts to do this in the past because of legal constraints. With this auction, it has created a model that allows successful purchasers to own the property free and clear with title insurance.
This was the first of a series of online monthly auctions for adjudicated properties.