County earns record revenue from annual tax sale

By Ken Lay

Buyers came with deep pockets to score property at the annual Knox County Tax Sale Wednesday at the Grande Event or Knoxville Expo Center.

The yearly event is held by the Knox County Trustee’s Office in order to recover delinquent tax revenue.

Knox County Trustee Justin Biggs said that the 2024 Tax Sale was the biggest in Knox County as it was held in a crowded room with hundreds of potential buyers.

“I’m very pleased,” Biggs said. “This tax sale is the biggest that we’ve ever had in Knox County.

“We had a great turnout and we had a lot of buyers.”

The event was halted for a brief lunch break just before 12:30 p.m. and at that point, the auction was only about one-third complete and Biggs said that the event had already netted the county a huge payoff.

“We’re only about a third of the way done and I’m sure we’ve already made seven figures,” Biggs said.

The sale generated over $17 million and a rebid auction is scheduled for Wednesday, July 17, at the City-County Building in the Large Assembly Room.

“I’m really happy with this. We started with 1,375 parcels and we made $9.3 million before Wednesday,” Biggs said. “Then, at the tax sale, we made another $8.44 million and we’ll have a rebid sale on July 17.”

“We set three records on Wednesday. We had the biggest sale that made the most amount of money. We had the largest single bid, a bid of $66,000 and we had the most people. We had between 750 and 800 people in that room.”

Most of the property sold was blighted property, Biggs said.

“The good thing about the tax sale is that we get input from the community and a lot of this was cleaning up the county. We had a lot of blighted property,” he said.

The 2024 Knox County Tax Sale generated nearly triple the funds of the 2023 sale, which netted the county a grand total of $6.4 million.