Jeff Davis Police Jury takes up issue of adjudicated property

Friday, February 20, 2015 1:28 PM

Doris Maricle / American Press

JENNINGS — The Jeff Davis Parish Police Jury is exploring ways to handle adjudicated property.

On Wednesday, the Police Jury heard a presentation from Bryan Barrios of CivicSource, a New Orleans-based company that handles the sale of adjudicated property for parishes and municipalities.

“We have been looking for a solution to our adjudicated property,” parish attorney David Bruchhaus said in introducing the firm at the panel’s agenda meeting.

Adjudicated properties are those properties that have outstanding delinquent taxes and have failed to sell in previous tax sales. The parish has several such properties, including about 15 that are partly owned with the city of Jennings, according to Bruchhaus.

CivicSource provides government agencies with a no-cost, liability-free solution for the sale of tax deed and tax adjudicated property and provides investors with guaranteed title insurance coverage for the property, Barrios said. The sales are conducted online.

“This is a turn-key solution for adjudicated property,” Barrios said.

The Police Jury will determine the selling price based on the amount of the tax lien and other fees owed. Most of the property involved has been adjudicated for at least five years, Barrios said.

Barrios said the aim of the company is to get the adjudicated property back on the tax rolls to increase revenues generated by the property taxes. It also encourages redevelopment of property that may have stood neglected for years.

“If the property doesn’t sell, it just sits there,” Barrios said. “But once you get it back on the tax roll with a new owner you can start getting taxes on it and you won’t have to be spending money to maintain the property.”

The Police Jury maintains the adjudicated properties and adds the cost of the upkeep to the property lien, which is paid when the property is sold.

The Police Jury’s Adjudicated Property Committee is expected to consider the company’s offer next week, Bruchhaus said. CivicSource has a contract with nearly a dozen parishes and municipalities to handle their adjudicated properties, according to Barrios.