Some 218 parcels are available Tuesday in the county of San Diego’s annual auction of properties that have fallen into tax default.

The auction, which begins at 9 a.m. at the San Diego Convention Center, is only open to bidders who have pre-registered.

It’s designed to recover at least a portion of property tax payments, penalties and fees that are due the county government.

State law allows counties to sell properties that have been in tax default for five years, according to Treasurer-Tax Collector Dan McAllister.

When registration opened three weeks ago, 324 properties were available, worth over $5 million in back payments to the county. Since then, more than 100 owners paid up, so 218 parcels can be bid on at the auction.

Minimum bids are set based on the total amount of back taxes, penalties and sales costs. McAllister said the lowest minimum bid for a property will be $1,200. The highest will be $525,000.

A successful bidder can take possession of a property after making a payment in full and after the tax deed to purchaser has been recorded, according to McAllister.