City to sell delinquent tax properties

The City of Jacksboro is selling some properties it abated and others that did not meet the minimum bid at the sheriff’s tax sale. The lots discussed at the council’s regular meeting Monday were 317 N. 4th St., 535 W. Archer St. and 332 N. 9th St.

The city received unsolicited offers to buy the properties prior to the meeting.

City Manager Mike Smith said the property at 317 N. 4th was voluntarily abated after a fire destroyed the home there a few years ago. 

“We worked with the property owner to try to get it cleaned up. The city eventually cleaned it up, abated that property,” he said. “It was voluntary. We went into it with an agreement with the property owner that she would reimburse the city on a payout plan ... for what we put into the abatement.”

Smith said that didn’t happen and a few months ago, the owner deeded the property over to the city. Two offers were made on the property — one for $565 and the promise to develop it within 14 months and another for $750 and an assurance of maintaining it and developing it in the near future.

The properties on N. 9th and W. Archer streets were included in the county’s April tax auction. Neither received their minimum bid and were turned over to the city.

Dec. 2, 2015, the city cleared the property at 535 W. Archer — the site of a home that was burned in a fire the previous March. 

“We’ve been continuing to struggle with the property owner to keep it clean and maintained,” Smith said. “We were probably close to having to abate it again and then it failed to sell for taxes so the city is now the owner of that.”

The city recently received a request to purchase the property for $1,100 with the promise to develop it in a timely manner, Smith said.

“The staff’s recommendation if the council wants to sell it at that price is that we put a timeline on how soon they get it cleaned up,” he said. “Not developed and have a house on it, but to get it cleared off.

“Our plan as far as the city was concerned was once we have the paperwork in hand, then we would put a plan together to get it cleaned up in a very short period of time - within weeks.”

The property on N. 9th includes a house and is in relatively good shape, according to Smith.

Mayor Alton Morris asked how owners could get so far behind on taxes, as much as more than $28,000 before a property went to auction. Smith was not sure.

Morris also inquired about the right of redemption.

According to Texas Property Tax Code, the owner of a residential property sold in a tax sale has two years to buy the property back at an additional 25 percent of what it sold for the first year or 50 percent the second year.

“They would not get any money back for improvements,” Morris said. “They’re going to just have to hold it and keep it clean.”

“Keeping it clean is more than what we’ve had,” said City Attorney David Spiller. 

The properties available are listed in the classified section of this newspaper.

Jacksboro Newspapers

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