Thursday, September 7, 2006
Property tax sale draws crowd
By Sue Watson
The annual property tax sale on Monday of last week brought in $978,000 in uncollected property taxes for year 2005 to the county coffers, according to Marshall County Tax Collector Betty Byrd. The tax owned on 1,914 parcels was sold, she said.
Property owners whose taxes were sold can redeem their taxes at the chancery clerk’s office beginning Monday, September 5, 2006. They will have to pay the taxes owed plus fees and interest.
The sale last year brought in $944,000 on 1,953 parcels where taxes were in arrears.
Byrd said the tax sale drew a large crowd of buyers with many standing all day in the aisles to participate in the sale.
“It went fast and smoothly,” Byrd said. “That’s the biggest sale we’ve had in terms of buyers.
“Property owners have two years from the date of the sale, (August 28, 2006) to redeem their property taxes, but they need to go ahead and pay it to keep fees and interest from building up.”
Byrd said the buyer draws 18 percent interest a year on their investment and after two years the buyer with the first lien can get the deed to the property they bought for taxes, if they want it.”
Tax sales have become a popular form of investment for buyers over the last 20 years, Byrd said, due to late-night infomercials that teach people how to buy in the tax sales, which are done statewide on either the first Monday in April or the last Monday in August.
Most counties choose the August date for their sale to give property owners more time to pay their delinquent taxes, she said.
Buyers come from all over the country to participate in the tax sale with companies represented from as far away as Florida, Nebraska and Washington, Byrd said. Locals often work for the companies, she said.
“The tax sale is the worst part of my job, but I have to do it,” she said. “The way they turn out for this sale amazes me more every year. It’s just overwhelming, the number of buyers trying to fight for that property.”
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