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County tax auction sees increase in parcels

Nye County held its annual tax auction Wednesday at the commission chambers in Pahrump, selling off parcels of land that previous owners lost for back taxes.

There were 411 parcels up for grabs this year, a significant jump from last year’s 273 available parcels. That increase was a bit of a surprise for deputy treasurer Cori Freidhof.

“We had more parcels this year, we had more people, as far as properties selling and stuff I think it was pretty good,” she said. “It was more so than I thought.”

In order to participate, each bidder had to register before the event started, and put down a $500 deposit. That deposit would be returned to anyone who didn’t win a bid. If someone won a bid, and then backed out afterward, they would forfeit the deposit.

Bids had to be made in at least $100 increments, which at times created long, hard-fought bidding wars between those in attendance.

A lot of the bidders were there to win parcels that were in prime areas of town, or try to make a winning bid on a parcel that included a residence.

The residence-included parcels drew the bigger bids and had the most volume of bids on them, with one group in particular nabbing those parcels up in abundance.

The largest bid of the day was $45,000, and a few others over $30,000, were made by a four-person group led by Rich Lauver.

“It’s a way to get properties that are fairly inexpensive, and it’s a way to get decent tenants to stay,” Lauver said. “Most of them will become rental properties.”

Lauver and his group have been coming to the tax sale for the last five years, so they have a strategy down, and by the haul they took in, it was a successful one.

Not everyone in attendance was in search of properties they could benefit off monetarily, some were in dire need of a home at a bargain price.

Making several excited bids, Carmen Andrew startled a few in the crowd with her shrieks of excitement.

Those outbursts were short-lived, losing auction after auction, but her patience paid off in the end. She finally won a parcel with a residence attached at 4991 E. McGraw Road, for a $21,000 bid.

She screamed, “I finally got a home,” and high-fived those around her in joy and celebration, which was a change from the non-celebratory gestures of the majority of bid winners.

“We tried very hard. It’s very difficult to buy a house here,” Andrew said. “Most people here go and sell them, but my friends here, they need a house to live. So I am very happy that they are going to live in this house.”

Each winner also had to pay a transfer fee tax that cost $1.95 per $500, so Andrew and her $21,000 win, means she had to pay an additional $81.90.

The total amount the auction brought in won’t be available for several weeks, but once it is accounted for, it will be posted to Nye County’s website.

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