Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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Blighted EBR properties could be sold online

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BATON ROUGE - A Mid City woman says she's tired of hearing the drug addicts and prostitutes who've set up shop in the abandoned house right next to hers.

"My window is right next to it, so you hear them all night going in and out," said resident Candy Bailey.

She's lived in her Spain Street home for 45 years, but things got bad six years ago when the owner of the neighboring house died and the property became blighted.

"We don't want to live next door to this," said Bailey. "When you have a house for a $160,000, you don't want to live next to this."

Because no one pays property taxes on the house, it's classified as "adjudicated." It's for sale through the East Baton Rouge Parish Attorney's Office, but many consider this system inefficient.

Now, a private company could start selling the adjudicated properties online. The company, Archon Information Systems, would set up a website to sell the properties, many of which are blighted.

The issue will be up for public hearing Wednesday night at the Metro Council meeting. According to the parish attorney's office, the program would be at no cost to tax payers. Instead, the company would sell the properties at a profit.

The parish attorney's office estimates there are hundreds of these properties in the area.  

According to the office, Orleans and Tangipahoa parishes have similar programs. The East Baton Rouge Parish Attorney's Office hopes the program will generate revenue for the city-parish through property taxes, but it emphasizes current owners will still have the opportunity to pay their back taxes and keep their properties.


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