Until 2020, Ruth Martin was listed as the primary owner of a Boise Bench property on Holiday Drive.
But after years of unpaid taxes, according to Ada County records, the property will likely have a new owner soon. For now, the house is wedged behind overgrown trees that make it almost imperceptible from the street.
Last year Ada County became the primary landlord and now the county is auction out of property through the tax deed process. The auction is expected to end at 8 a.m. on Thursday, but it could be extended if a bid is placed within the last five minutes. At 3 p.m. on Wednesday, the highest bid was $ 175,100 – a bargain compared to Ada County Assessed Value $ 354,100 and Zillow estimate of $ 415,500.
The buyer will get a one-story 1495-square-foot home built on a quarter-acre in 1955 with three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a garage and a 53-square-foot patio, according to the appraiser.
The auction began at $ 28,607.89, a minimum price set by Ada County Commissioners simply to recover unpaid taxes and the cost of notifying the previous owner.
The county will not make any profit from the sale, Ada County Treasurer Elizabeth Mahn said in a telephone interview. Any excess money would be sent to interested parties, such as lien holders and the previous owner. Or if no one claims it, the money would be sent to the state treasurer.
“In short, it is a statutory process to collect overdue taxes for the tax district, ”Mahn said. “At the highest level, it’s like that.
Martin, the former owner, is deceased, Mahn said, and family members entered and left the property. Taxes were paid on the property until 2015, according to Ada County records. But every year since, they are delinquents. Unpaid taxes total $ 24,207.42.
“Usually (after the death of an owner) a family member can become the personal representative and take care of the estate. It doesn’t appear to have happened in this case, ”Mahn said. “… Usually someone will probate the estate or do something to close the financial affairs. “
Once the taxes are overdue for three years, the process of the tax act begins. About 100 packages typically fall into this category each year, Mahn said. Once the county notifies homeowners, that number drops dramatically as most people end up paying. Typically, less than 10 properties are auctioned off each year.
This year, for goods that became overdue in 2016, there is five properties put up for auction. Only the one at 6945 W. Holiday Drive has a house. At 3:00 p.m. Wednesday, the highest bid for each of the other four properties was $ 5,500 or less.
The auction is a last resort.
“It’s a circumstance that we like to avoid,” Mahn said.
For properties auctioned, the county does not offer any guarantees. Whoever wins the auction buys the property as is.
From 2000 to 2017, the Holiday Drive property was never valued at more than $ 200,000. In 2018, Ada County valued the property at $ 222,500, and it has grown every year since. The assessed value has increased to $ 263,500 in 2019, $ 283,000 in 2020 and $ 354,100 this year.
As of Wednesday afternoon, he had at least 49 offers.