Judge Blocks Property Tax Auction

City hoped to collect back taxes with auction

WASHINGTON -- A D.C. Superior Court judge blocked an auction Wednesday in which the city government hoped to collect millions of dollars in back property taxes.

Almost 5,000 properties were originally listed for the annual sale.

One of the potential bidders at the auction complained in court that the city did not include all properties that owe back taxes. The city for administrative reasons had listed only those properties with more than $1,200 in overdue taxes.

The delay prompted an angry reaction from would-be bidders.

The city had planned to auction both commercial and residential properties. The smallest lot was a parking space in a condominium garage. The largest was a $19 million block near downtown Washington.

City officials will review the judge's order and reschedule the auction for October.

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