Jennings county has just 28,000 people, but put 1,100 properties up for auction this year for nonpayment of taxes. That is 39 properties for every 1,000 people.
Jennings County tax sale supervisor Amy Williams says hundreds of properties in that county’s tax sale are the result of a single failed development in North Vernon.
“A few years ago, we had a gentleman buy close to 500-600 properties out there — just vacant, undeveloped lots — in hopes of turning them around and selling,” Williams says. “But then he went through some financial crisis of his own.”
Lake County has the second highest population in Indiana, so it is not surprising it has the most total tax sales — but it had six times as many as any other county. Lake County’s rate of 27 sales per thousand people is nearly triple the rate of any county except Jennings.