Thursday, September 15, 2005

Tax sale draws crowd

Staff Writer

Turnout at for the Marshall County tax lien sale Monday, Aug. 29, was good with 104 registered bidders and about 10 investment companies represented, according to tax collector Betty Byrd.

Present were college students bidding for one investment company, first time bidders, the curious, and one Barton resident who said he wanted to bid on delinquent taxes on several properties in his subdivision “to protect the neighborhood.”

With no objections, Marshall County Tax Collector Betty Byrd granted individuals who wanted to protect a lien on a property - such as mortgage companies or those who owned properties adjacent to lands with taxes owed, to redeem taxes on those properties first. About 20 individuals got in line for that round.

Byrd said the group asked for oberbidding after that which continued until lunch, at which the tax sale was still on the names beginning with “B”.

Overbidding is where buyers compete with each other and are willing to offer a price beyond what tax is owed on a property.

After noon, the bidders wanted to do round-robin bidding. Sales continued until quitting time at 4:30 when liens had been sold through the “Rs”. The sale continued Tuesday morning.

The smallest parcel sold August 29 was for $5.50 and the largest sold at $43,253, Byrd said.

Large bidders or those with out-of-county addresses left letters of credit or checks with the tax office to cover bids, Byrd said.

Noting the storms connected with Hurricane Katrina in South Mississippi’s coastal counties on Monday, Aug. 29, Byrd said sales cannot be cancelled by anyone but Gov. Haley Barbour.

The sale goes on unless the state governor calls the sale off for an emergency, she said. Counties got a communication from the state Tax Commission office in Jackson at 10:22 a.m. notifying counties in the southern part of the state to postpone the tax sale if necessary.

Bidders came from as far away as Pennsylvania, Orlando, Fla., Las Vegas, Nev., and Omaha, Neb.

Property owners whose taxes were bought in the 2004 tax lien sale Monday and Tuesday, Aug. 29-30, will have to wait until the second week in September to redeem their taxes at the chancery clerk’s office.

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