100 parcels to be sold Thursday

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Some 100 parcels will go on sale Thursday to cover delinquent property taxes, said county tax collector Joy Wiggins.

“I wish it were zero, but that’s not the case,” Wiggins said. “We’re going to start at 8 a.m. on May 8 and go until all the parcels are sold. If we’re not done by 5 p.m., we’ll start again the next morning, but I’ve never had that happen.”

Tax officials are required by law to run a list of delinquent property owners in a newspaper before public auction. That list ran multiple times in April in The Brewton Standard. The public sale is also mandated by state law.

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The list outlines pieces of property throughout the county where owners have not paid their ad valorem taxes, or property taxes. Copies are available in The Standard’s office on St. Nicholas Avenue.

The office goes to great lengths to contact owners before the list is published, Wiggins said. Property owners were sent two certified letters about the outstanding balance – one in March and another at the beginning of April.

“Bills are sent in September and are due on Oct. 1,” Wiggins said. “The bill becomes delinquent Dec. 31.”

A complete list of available parcels will be available in the tax collector’s office beginning at 8 a.m. Thursday.

“One must register to participate in the sale,” Wiggins said. “And you must also have certified funds available to pay with, and those parcels must be paid for before you leave the courthouse premise.”

Wiggins said landowners have three years for file for land redemption after their property is sold.

“And in that case, the owner must pay the back taxes, plus 1 percent interests for each month,” she said. “And that compounds, so it can get expensive.”

After three years, landowners can challenge the sale; however, one must go to court to get a ruling on the case.

“There is a small 10 day grace period after the sale if someone wants to come in a pay their taxes,” Wiggins said. “There’s no additional interest on that amount.”