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County Executive Leopold Announces County Opts for Sealed Bid Tax Sale Auction Format

Annapolis, MD (May 3, 2007) - Anne Arundel County Executive John R. Leopold announced he is initiating a more cost-effective and efficient approach to conducting tax sales in the County.

Anne Arundel County will to move to the bundled sealed bid auction format for this year’s tax sale to be held on June 5th in the Arundel Center at 44 Calvert Street in Annapolis.

Legislation enacted by the General Assembly allows individual counties the option of conducting their annual tax sales using the sealed bid auction format as an alternative to the time-consuming process of conducting an individual open public auction. The sealed bid auction format was adopted a number of years ago by both Montgomery and Prince George’s counties and it has proved to be an extremely efficient and cost-effective means of collecting outstanding debts owed to the counties.

Over the past five years, the Anne Arundel County annual tax sale auction has drawn an average of 250 registered bidders to participate in an all-day open auction process selling liens on an average of 900 properties. Despite the large number of bidders registered each year, statistically, only about 10% of the bidders registered take approximately 90% of the liens that are available. In 2006, the top five bidders alone took 75% of all liens available and paid an average of $1.6 million to the county in sale and high bid premium costs.

By adopting the more streamlined sealed bid auction format, potential investors will now be able to bid on blocks of properties in a matter of minutes, rather than spending an entire day bidding on properties individually. The bundled sealed bid process does not preclude potential investors from bidding on an individual parcel, however, priority will be given to bids presented for an entire group.

In addition to offering potential bidders a more efficient means of bidding on properties, the sealed bid auction format will also save the county the cost of conducting an all day open auction and it will drastically cut back on the amount of staff and overtime needed to conduct a traditional auction.

The purpose of the annual tax sale is for the county to collect on all unpaid debts owed to the county, by adopting the bundled sealed bid auction process, the county hopes to achieve that objective using the most cost-effective and efficient means now available.

Throughout the month of May, the properties will be advertised in local County newspapers. This is being done in an effort to reach as many property owners as possible and to try to provide every opportunity for property owners to pay any outstanding bills prior to the tax sale.


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Anne Arundel County, Maryland. 44 Calvert Street, Annapolis, Maryland 21401 | Tele: (410) 222-7000