The phrase "auctioned on the courthouse steps" is a misnomer, Bleigh said. The liens actually are auctioned in a room inside the courthouse.
The historic Courtroom Four in the courthouse previously housed the auction, Bleigh said, but this year it's undergoing renovations and cannot be used.
"I'm not sure where we're going to hold the auction yet," he said. "We might hold it in another courtroom or the commission chambers."
A large crowd usually gathers for the tax lien auction. Bleigh estimated that about 160 buyers are represented at the sale. They hope to make money when property owners redeem the liens.
Most liens are sold to companies that specialize in purchasing tax liens as an investment.
The owner of the property then has 18 months to pay the taxes before the sale is final, Bleigh said. The individual or company that purchased the lien charges 1 percent interest per month. The delinquent owner must pay the interest along with other expenses incurred by the purchaser.
Most owners of property for which liens have been sold pay the fees, he said.
But if the owner does not redeem the tax ticket or pay the interest, the property is deeded to the lien purchaser, Bleigh said.
Both individual purchasers and companies consider the purchase of the tax liens a sound investment, he said.
"Show me another investment that makes 1 percent a month simple interest."
Taxes must be paid with cash after Nov. 6, Bleigh said.
He was unsure how many parcels of property would make it to the lien sale on Nov. 13 because the delinquent owners have until the Friday before the sale to pay, he said.
The sales list is not finalized until just before the sale starts at 9 a.m.
The sale runs from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. starting Nov. 13. It will continue until all of the tax liens are sold.