County’s First Online Property Tax Sale Ends With Record-Breaking $5.6M in Sales

The San Diego County Treasurer-Tax Collector’s first online property tax sale auction grossed $5.6 million in sales, topping totals from previous, in-person auctions.

“This tax sale auction surpassed our expectations,” said San Diego County Treasurer-Tax Collector Dan McAllister. “Not only did it help us save on operational costs, but it allowed us to sell far more properties than we have in the past.”

Earlier this month, bidders won 343 properties for a total of $5,613,700. The Treasurer-Tax Collector’s Office’s (TTC) previous record stood at $3.49 million from the 2013 auction, where 62 properties were sold.

This year, the purchased properties include 13 improved properties (homes or businesses), 117 unimproved properties (land), and 213 timeshares.

California law states that if owners do not pay their property taxes for five years or more, the county can auction off the properties to recover the back taxes. More than $2 million of the 2017 total sales will go to pay off back taxes and fees, leaving about $3.6 million in excess proceeds. Click here to learn more about excess proceeds.

In years past, the TTC held property tax sales through live auctions at venues such as the San Diego Convention Center. The last in-person auction was held in 2015, when the TTC sold 85 properties for $2.9 million.

 “We wanted to open this auction up to a worldwide audience, and moving it online allowed us to do that with great success,” said McAllister. “Our team did a fantastic job finding the right system that makes it easy for bidders to take part in our auctions from now on.”

Reoffer Auction July 21-26

Bidders who did not get to participate in this auction will soon get a second chance. The TTC still has 1,012 parcels to sell -- the majority of which are timeshares. The TTC will reoffer these properties at a second auction July 21-26. Timeshares will start at $100.

Prospective bidders must register for the sale starting June 21 at They will have to put down a refundable $1,000 bid deposit, as well as a non-refundable $35 processing fee to participate.

See the graph below for tax sale totals dating back to 2005 (please note, the TTC did not hold a tax sale auction in 2016). 

Property Tax Sale Totals 2017
*This number represents gross proceeds.