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Seven Mobile Homes Sold At First Tax Sale Of Its Kind In Indiana

The minimum bid on each mobile home included the delinquent taxes and a tax sale fee. (Steve Burns, WFIU/WTIU News)

Lawrence County sold seven mobile homes during the state’s first mobile home tax sale Wednesday.

It's part of an effort to clean up the county’s tax records.

The county had more than 400 mobile homes behind on personal property taxes at the beginning of this year.

Treasurer Paula Stewart announced plans to conduct the state’s first mobile home tax sale in an effort to collect some of that money.

And, for most of the mobile homes, it worked. Only 26 went up for auction this week. 

They sold for between $100 and $400. The minimum bid on each mobile home included the delinquent taxes and a tax sale fee. 

The treasurer’s office prepared the titles, but Stewart says it’s up to the new owners to determine how to actually get the mobile homes.

"Some questions I’ve been asked are ‘if it’s occupied what do we do? Can I just go in and move it?’ Those are all legal questions," she says. "I’m not an attorney."

Only four people bid on the mobile homes. One resident bought one that's on his property, but that he didn't own until the auction. He says it's an eyesore he plans to remove. 

Another man bought three mobile homes. He says he plans to move the best one onto his property and turn it into his home. 

The mobile homes that didn't sell will remain on the county's tax rolls. Stewart says she expects the auction to become an annual event in Lawrence County. She also expects more counties across the state to conduct their own mobile home tax sales to help clean up their records. 

"The process simply hasn’t been clean, it hasn’t been conducive to forcing the payment of taxes the same way that real estate tax sales were held," she says. 

Legislators passed a law last year allowing counties to conduct the mobile home tax sales. 

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