Nearly 200 properties, including a Greenwood shopping center, are set to be auctioned by the county for the amount of unpaid taxes and fees owed.

The county sets properties with 18 months of unpaid property taxes for auction almost every year. The goal of the auction is to get the delinquent taxes paid, Johnson County Treasurer Michele Graves said.

This year, 195 properties are set for sale. That number can change before the sale date on Sept. 20, since the owners of the properties can pay the overdue taxes and fees any time before the sale and remove them from the list.

The properties on this year’s auction list stretch across the county, ranging from small pieces of land in neighborhoods to a large shopping center.

But the number of properties on the list will likely significantly drop by the time of the auction, as property owners come in to pay the late fees and overdue taxes, Graves said.

One property on the list this year is the shopping center at the corner of Madison Avenue and County Line Road that the city of Greenwood has identified as an area for redevelopment. City officials have said they want to buy the property, demolish the center and convert it into greenspace and a new gateway into the city. The amount owed is just under $120,000.

Most of the properties on the list are land or homes, with anywhere from a few hundred to $5,000 or more in taxes owed, according to the list.

If someone does bid on the property at the sale, that doesn’t mean they own it, Graves said.

Under the tax sale process, bidders are buying a lien on the property. That means they can pay as little as the amount of unpaid taxes and fees, or more if bidders drive up the price at the auction. But the winning bidder does not own the property. The owner still has a year to pay the unpaid taxes, fees and interest. If the amount is not paid within a year, then the bidder owns the property.

If you go

The county will auction liens on properties with unpaid taxes at the upcoming tax sale.

When: 10 a.m. Sept. 20

Where: Courthouse annex, 86 W. Court St., Franklin

How: Register online at sri-taxsale.com or arrive early and register the day of the sale.

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Annie Goeller is managing editor of the Daily Journal. She can be reached at agoeller@dailyjournal.net or 317-736-2718.