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Sheriff Hillhouse says real estate auction nets $165,000

The Malakoff News of Malakoff, Texas

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ATHENS — Sheriff Botie Hillhouse said this week's real estate auction on the County Courthouse steps netted $165,000 in delinquent taxes, put land back on the tax rolls, and "was a heck of a deal for bidders."

The sale of 58 properties conducted June 7 netted $118,075 for the county and $47,734 for two school districts.

"The owners were delinquent on their taxes and, as the law requires, we sold the land, often at bargain-basement prices, to get owners right by the taxing entities," Hillhouse said.

County Judge Richard Sanders said more people seeking to purchase property in the county were welcome to the monthly auctions.

"I hope more people will take advantage of this simple opportunity," Sanders said. "It is a great program that clears the tax rolls and helps property values."

Hillhouse said auctions are held the first Tuesday of each month on the south side steps of the Henderson County Courthouse, downtown on the square, beginning at 10 a.m. The public is invited. Bidders must register and provide a valid identification card and a statement from the tax office saying they are not delinquent on any taxes.

Some of the land sold this week was a bargain, Hillhouse said.

For example, most residential lots went for $500 and one was sold for $250.

"And one bidder won a 39-acre tract for $71,000," Hillhouse said. "We want to encourage anyone interested in living in Henderson County or improving property here to come to the auction each month. It is a good move for the community and a great deal for the investor."

Judge Sanders said he is delighted when the county can clear its backlog of delinquent taxes due. "Everyone wins when money for public good is paid and well spent," Sanders said. "And it is wonderful to see often forgotten or neglected property cleaned up and brought to life."

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Original Publication Date: June 17, 2016

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