Thurston County commissioners debate on sale of tax-title property via private negotiation


The Thurston County Board of County Commissioners (BoCC) authorized the sale of tax-title Property Number 12720220300 for $7500 during a meeting yesterday.

This authorized the Thurston County Treasurer's Office to sell the encumbered wetland property via private negotiation to a citizen.

Tax-title properties

Due to a lack of bidders at a tax foreclosure sale or auction, the county acquires tax-title properties, mostly wetlands and non-buildable areas.

These properties are not owned by the county but are held in trust for the taxing districts.

Private individuals can browse the available properties on the county website and then tap the county to present an offer to buy any of these properties.

“We're gonna remember these properties are not generating any income for the tax district right now. Anytime anybody wants to buy one of these and get them put back on the tax rolls, we're really happy,” said Revenue Officer Eric Sullivan.

Revenue Officer Eric Sullivan explained the process and presented the resolution to sell the encumbered wetland tax-title property.
Revenue Officer Eric Sullivan explained the process and presented the resolution to sell the encumbered wetland tax-title property.

Concerns on publicity

Commissioner Gary Edwards raised the issue about the commissioners being tasked with the sale of the tax-title properties and the lack of public notice on the available properties.

“My feeling is this is a fairness issue, not to at least, notice adjoining property owners this particular property would be coming up for sale,” said Edwards.

Edwards explained that he called one of the adjacent property owners, who informed him that he was also interested in purchasing the property, but there were no notices about it being up for sale.

“I believe we are obligated to notify adjoining property owners, especially in a case like this where there is no other ability for other people to access this property,” Edwards added.

Commissioner Carolina Mejia said that the Treasurer’s Office might not have the resources to notify all adjacent property owners extensively.

Sullivan, however, explained that notifying adjacent property owners is already part of the earlier processes in the first year of the property’s foreclosure, even before these properties are put up for a second round of auctions after receiving no bids on the first one.

The BoCC moved forward in authorizing the Treasurer's Office to sell the property via private negotiation, with Edwards voting against the two commissioners who voted for it.

Residents may visit the tax-title property information, list, and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) pages.


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  • JulesJames

    Commissioner Edwards is correct. Government cannot consider public notice for one property sale process to be public notice for a completely different property sale process sometime in the indeterminate future. Doesn't matter if it is the same parcel number, or portion of a parcel number.

    Thursday, November 9, 2023 Report this