Auction of state-owned land called a success
Yuma County Treasurer Karen Fritz called Monday's sale of 21 pieces of property located within the county a success.
"Some of the properties were sold for more than the amount of the taxes that were due, so we did pretty well," Fritz said.
According to Fritz, the county is required by law to conduct annual auctions on all property that has been deeded over to the state of Arizona due to delinquent taxes.
The parcels went to the highest bidders in a public auction conducted by supervisors Monday during their regularly scheduled board meeting.
"Be aware that some of these parcels aren't usable pieces of property," board Chairwoman Lucy Shipp told a small group of potential bidders at the start of the auction. "I hope you took the time to inform yourselves before purchasing any piece of ground."
The parcels that sold fetched as little as $10 and up to $7,100. While those prices seemed cheap, it was only because the parcels were not desirable or because they came with liens that the new owners will have to pay off.
"Most of the parcels are drainage tracts or rights-of-way that haven't been properly conveyed to the county or the city," said County Assessor Joe Wehrle. "Nobody should be buying that property."
In all, 13 properties were sold, for a total sale price of approximately $37,000. The money will be split among all the entities that were owed property taxes by prior owners, Fritz said.
Eight other pieces of property received no bid.
Wehrle added that most of the property that was worth purchasing was in 38-plus acre tracts between Tacna and the county line, several miles north of the freeway.
Keith Eggers - Bidder No. 2, according to the blue card he held up each time he placed a bid - left the auction on Monday having bought four parcels for a total of just less than $4,000.
"I bought some parcels out in Dateland and near Somerton that looked to be good investments," said Eggers, who is from Carlsbad, Calif. "I got some good prices."
Eggers, who represents a group of private investors who buy land throughout the western United States, said he comes to Yuma County's auction fairly regularly.
"Yuma has been growing, so we've got some interest out here," Eggers said. "We've bought a lot of property in Imperial and Yuma Counties the past several years."
James Gilbert can be reached at email@example.com or 539-6854.