Gloucester Township sold more than $1.7 million in tax and utility debt to investors during an acclerated tax sale held at the Municipal Building on Tuesday, according to Tax Collector Sandra Ferguson.
In addition to property-tax debt, unpaid sewer bills were sold to investors at the auction-style tax sale.
Of the 4,774 delinquent properties on the rolls at the mid-November beginning of the tax-sale notice mailing period, 1,126 remained at the start of Tuesday's tax sale.
About 3,500 property owners were delinquent as of Nov. 19.
Of the 1,126 delinquent properties at the start of Tuesday's tax sale, investors purchased 1,033 liens, totaling $1,763,763.40, Ferguson said.
Of the 93 liens not purchased during the tax sale, 87 were municipal liens and six were for unpaid Camden County Municipal Utilities Authority (MUA) or Gloucester Township MUA sewer bills.
The township collected $863,000 in premiums Tuesday, according to Ferguson.
The properties to be included in the tax sale were printed in the Courier-Post on Nov. 27 and Dec. 4, at a total cost of $21,708.75. The township also mailed out two rounds of notices to owners of delinquent properties.
Eleven bidders were present for the tax sale.
Municipalities use accelerated tax sales to achieve higher tax-collection rates. Liens can be sold for properties with tax debt from the budget year during which the accelerated sale is held, allowing municipalities to allocate less money in anticipation of uncollected taxes for the following year's budget.
Investors bid on tax debt at auction-style tax sales, paying off the money owed to municipalities while charging interest of up to 18 percent on top of the original tax bill owed by the delinquent taxpayer.
Gloucester Township's collection rate has been near 100 percent since the move to the accelerated tax sale in the late 1990s, Business Administrator Tom Cardis said.
The 2012 collection rate is yet to be determined.