Louisiana Local Governments Spur Economic Activity & Neighborhood Revitalization Through the Use of Innovative Technology Developed by CivicSource

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One year after the first tax-adjudicated property was sold, over 1,000 properties returned to commerce and local governments realize $20 million in unbudgeted revenues

“With implementing this technology, our main goals were to spur new development, reduce blight and strengthen communities across New Orleans,” said Mayor Mitch Landrieu

While governments across the country are trying to avoid raising taxes, Louisiana’s local governments have found a way to increase revenues without increasing taxes – by placing tax-adjudicated properties back on their tax rolls. Tax-adjudicated properties are properties placed in the custody of the local taxing authorities after having failed to sell at prior tax sales. In many cases, these properties have been decades off the tax rolls, not generating annual tax revenues. Due to the blighted and abandoned condition of these properties and the unavailability of title insurance, the issue of how to return tax-adjudicated properties to commerce has been a seemingly unsolvable one for the past 30 years.

However, with the advent of new technology that (1) proves tax collectors noticed all persons of interest prior to sale, and (2) provides a market-driven online marketplace through which local governments can sell tax-adjudicated properties, since last July, over 1,000 properties were returned to commerce and over $20 million in unbudgeted revenues were realized by local governments … and it cost local governments nothing. The new technologies track and manage adherence to title insurance underwriting guidelines that, in the case of tax-adjudicated properties, can mean keeping up with several hundred notices per property. Additionally, by making the sale of each property market-driven, initiated by investor deposit, only properties of interest are taken to sale, and local governments do not place at risk money needed to fund pre-sale related expenses.

“With implementing this technology, our main goals were to spur new development, reduce blight and strengthen communities across New Orleans,” said Mayor Mitch Landrieu. “This was a pioneering effort to move thousands of tax-adjudicated properties back into commerce with this new online process,” said First Deputy Mayor & Chief Administrative Officer Andy Kopplin. “These online adjudication auctions helped the City recoup important revenue to fund essential City priorities and invest in residents’ priorities, such as community revitalization, public safety, street repairs and parks and recreation,” said Kopplin.

Bryan Barrios, the Chief Executive Officer of the company that designed and developed the technologies, CivicSource, said the aim of the company is to provide local government with a viable, no cost solution to get adjudicated properties back on the tax rolls so that taxing authorities might not have to increase property taxes on citizens who timely pay their taxes every year.

“Many of these properties have been off the tax rolls for decades, costing local governments real money to police and maintain,” Barrios said. “From local government’s perspective, once a property gets back on the rolls, they can collect annual taxes again, as well as stop spending money on its upkeep. From the developer’s perspective, property is acquired for much less than market value, with clear title and title insurance. Both sides win, it’s that simple.”

About CivicSource:
CivicSource is the leading auctioneer of tax-distressed real estate. From tax sales to adjudicated property auctions, CivicSource digitizes due process compliance to ensure legally valid sales. Founded in 2008, New Orleans based CivicSource has been recognized by Inc. Magazine’s 500|5000 as one of “America’s Fastest Growing Companies” and has been recognized as the one of the Best Places to work in New Orleans for the past five years, receiving the designation “Best Place to Work” in 2014. http://www.CivicSource.com

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Kristen Lawrence
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