SAN DIEGO (CNS) - The county of San Diego's annual auction of tax- defaulted properties is going online for the first time this year, Treasurer- Tax Collector Dan McAllister announced Wednesday.
"With this new system, people sitting at home can browse and bid on more than 1,600 properties currently available, including timeshares starting at $900," McAllister said. "The online auction aligns with our `e-nitiative' to make it easier and more efficient to do all business with us electronically."
The online auction will take place May 5-10. The owners of the properties have been in arrears on their property taxes for five years or more, so the county is allowed to sell them to collect on the unpaid funds.
Interested buyers can register as bidders beginning April 5, and registration will end April 27. Bidders must put up a $1,000 advance and a nonrefundable $35 bid processing fee.
"Moving this tax sale online will cut our operation costs compared to a live auction," said McAllister, who used to conduct the event at the San Diego Convention Center. "We also hope to sell more properties as we open the auction up to bidders outside the San Diego region -- even around the world."
The number of properties is four times the normal amount, and more than 1,200 are timeshares, he said.
Prospective bidders are encouraged to research the properties online at sdtreastax.com.
Owners of the for-sale properties have until May 4 to pay the taxes and fees they owe. However, they generally fail to respond to final notices, McAllister said.