The City of Philadelphia will auction off 45 properties owned by delinquent taxpayers this morning, the first of many sales to come as part of stepped-up efforts to collect delinquent taxes.

A total of $1.8 million is owed on all the properties, an average of $40,000 per parcel. Some of the properties have been delinquent for 14 years or more.

When Mayor Street announced the program in 2007, he predicted the city would collect $235 million in back taxes over the next five years. The firm hired to collect the money, Linebarger Goggan Blair and Sampson LLP, has collected more than $20 million since last November.

The sales will be held at First District Plaza, 3801 Market St., at 10 a.m.    - Patrick Kerkstra