RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The City of Richmond held another auction Wednesday night to recoup income lost from property owners not paying taxes for years.
For months now, 8News investigator Kerri O’Brien has been shedding light on the issue. This summer, she found that more than 8,500 properties were tax delinquent in Richmond.
Now, that number has been reduced to 6,600 in just a few months, due in part to auctions like that which happened Wednesday and the city’s recent tax amnesty program.
Hundreds packed Motley’s in Richmond to bid on tax-delinquent homes and businesses located in all parts of the city.
Most, like Darrian Hewlett, the property manager for Shiloh Enterprise Properties, were there looking to revitalize and bring new life back to the abandoned homes.
“Whatever needs work, we go in, fix it, spruce it up and make it livable for a new family to move in,” Hewlett said.
Many of these tax delinquent properties have been boarded up and blighted eyesores for years. Earlier this year, 8News exposed the owners of one multi-family home on 5th Avenue which had been delinquent for more than 20 years.
Wednesday night, the house sold for $125,000.
Wendy D’Angelo lives next door to an auctioned property in Jackson Ward. She said she is eager to see something move in that reflects the revitalization already underway in the neighborhood.
“I think it would be really interesting to see residential come in here,” D’Angelo said. “I think it works toward that, but I’d be happy to have a business to get it back toward where Jackson Ward was originally a thriving business district.”
Tax delinquent properties in Richmond collectively represent a loss of $28 million in revenue for Richmond.
However, these auctions are helping. One in August generated close to $500,000.
8News has learned that the city currently has another 325 properties ready for auction. The next one is scheduled for February.