July 6, 2015

Media Contact: Justin Concepcion
Office: 713-274-8021
Mobile: 713-582-4925

Harris County Moving Property Auctions to Internet

Advancing technology and modernizing the office to recover money for taxpayers

Harris County Tax Assessor-Collector Mike Sullivan is gearing up for an exciting new project that will bring public auctions online, making the process faster, easier and more user-friendly.

“Each month, my office works with Harris County Constables, taxing jurisdictions and our collections attorneys to organize and host a massive public auction on foreclosed properties. With new legislation taking effect on January 1, 2016, we’ll be able to create an online system for the public auction. This will enable us to recover tax dollars and get thousands more properties into the hands of new owners,” said Mr. Sullivan.

Last month, Governor Greg Abbott signed into law, SB1452 (authored by Texas State Senator Paul Bettencourt), to authorize foreclosed properties to be sold online. These are properties where a judgment has been made due to delinquent taxes.

“Currently, we’re meeting with all the stakeholders and discussing how we want to implement the new law, the regulations and the online system,” said Mr. Sullivan. “It’s a lot of moving parts, but we’re very excited to bring this to the residents of Harris County. Delinquent property taxes unfairly burden the taxpayers of Harris County, and we need to recover every dollar possible.”

The Harris County Tax Assessor-Collector’s Office has had growing success in its current tax sale program. The addition of an online platform will increase it significantly. Here’s the historical sales data:
Year Total Number of Properties Sold Total Amount of Taxes Collected
2012 1351 $23,747,352
2013 1651 $27,461,757
2014 2016 $28,120,338

The Harris County Tax Assessor-Collector’s Office Property Tax Division maintains approximately 1.5 million tax accounts and collects property taxes for 71 taxing entities including Harris County. For the 2014 tax year, the Tax Assessor-Collector’s Office collected more than $5 billion in property taxes.