ROGERSVILLE — Hawkins County’s Delinquent Tax Committee voted Monday to sell a Mount Carmel house for $100, but the buyers may be getting a lot more than they bargained for.
Mount Carmel Building Inspector Vince Pishner told the committee Monday that the city is on the verge of filing for a condemnation order on that house, which is located at 407 Independence Ave. It is one of three dilapidated houses in a row that the city is looking to condemn.
Hawkins County acquired the house at 407 Independence Ave. through a delinquent tax sale due to a delinquent property tax bill of $3,365.
The county subsequently advertised the property for public sale, and the lone bid came in the amount of $100.
“I came down this morning, and I was wanting to talk to the county about the process of condemning the house and having it removed,” Pishner told the committee Monday. “If we have an offer that you all want to accept, and if someone is willing to take the time to rehab the property, I’m sure the city would have no objection to that. But we would have objection if it’s something that’s going to take several years to do.”
Pishner said he had considered buying the property for his granddaughter to live in, but he said it would take too much work to save the house.
The driveway is narrow and almost straight up and down.
It almost requires a four-wheel-drive to climb the driveway, Pishner said.
Pishner noted that the previous owner removed the heating system and commode. He said the house needs egress windows in bedrooms, it has wires sticking out of the walls and ceiling in various places, and it’s “full of rubbish.”
“If someone wants to spend the money, God bless them,” Pishner said. “As the fact sheet (he handed out to the committee) presents, that house is in terrible shape. I understand the young man who wants to buy it, he probably has the necessary skills if he has the resources.”
Pishner added, “If y’all accept this offer, just make sure whoever is buying it — I’ll be after them in six months to a year if they’re not doing anything.”
If the city proceeds with condemnation, and is successful, the city will demolish the property and will put a lien on the property deed to recoup the cost, which Pishner estimated would cost between $4,000 and $8,000.
Pishner said the city would consider splitting the cost of demolition with the county, partly due to the fact that the property would provide the only viable access to two other houses next door that Mount Carmel is on the verge of condemning as well.
Those other two “are on my list,” Pishner said. All three houses are currently vacant.
Instead, the committee voted 4-0 to accept the $100 bid.
County facilities manager Sarah Davis said the person who made the bid on the property won’t be able to start work on it until the fall.
Pishner said if they keep the outside mowed and clean he’ll give them until this time next year to make progress. If there is no progress, Pishner said he anticipates that the city will move forward with condemnation.
On Monday, the committee also approved the sale of two other delinquent property tax properties, including a small piece of land adjacent to the buyer’s property on Clover Circle in Mooresburg that will be sold for $400.
That property went off the tax rolls in 2014 due to $529 in delinquent county property taxes.
The other sale includes a total of 50 separate lots in the Camelot community for $350, most of which are less than one-tenth of an acre, although there are 13 lots that range between a third of an acre and a half-acre. This property is mostly land-locked mountainside.
The total amount owed on back taxes for these Camelot properties was $1,750.
The biggest portion of these properties have been off the county tax rolls for 38 years and 10 months.
Although the county doesn’t always recoup the amount of property tax owed through a sale, once the property sale is finalized, it goes back on the county tax rolls and the county begins collecting property tax on it again.