Baton Rouge city-parish selling thousands of pieces of property; here's how it works _lowres

The city-parish is selling off thousands of Baton Rouge properties that were placed in their hands after owners stopped paying property taxes on them. The average starting bid for the properties is $3,400, which includes title insurance and closing costs. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Looking for a good deal on some land in Baton Rouge?

The city-parish is selling off thousands of properties that were placed in their hands after owners stopped paying property taxes on them. The average starting bid for the properties is $3,400, which includes title insurance and closing costs.

Information on the property is available online at civicsource.com, and they are ready for purchase. Prospective owners can place a deposit on a property that interests them, and that property will enter an auction where all interested prospective owners can bid.

Auctions happen on the first Wednesday of each month. If the original interested buyer who put down a deposit does not win the auction, he or she will be refunded the deposit amount.

City-parish leaders are hoping the property sales will generate some extra money for the East Baton Rouge budget. Once people buy the properties, they will be required to start paying property taxes on them.

“Tax-delinquent properties are a burden to our on-time taxpayers as well as a financial liability to the parish in upkeep expense,” said William R. Aaron II, a special assistant parish attorney.

New Orleans started the same kind of property sale in March. In New Orleans, close to 1,800 properties were up for sale and 85 percent of them were already tax delinquent before Hurricane Katrina.

The same website hosts the New Orleans property sales.

“Adjudicated property is one of the main causes of blighted and abandoned properties, leading to crime and decreased revenues for jurisdictions everywhere, and we are just happy to be able to provide a viable solution to those seeking to redress this problem, once and for all,” said Bryan Barrios, CEO of CivicSource, in a news release.