St. Tammany Parish Sheriff Randy Smith today released the statistics from the 2017 property tax sale.
On July 31, 2017, 202 individuals registered as potential buyers for this year’s sale. Registration was open to anyone interested in bidding on the properties being auctioned. A total of 855 properties were scheduled for the sale due to unpaid property taxes. This is the smallest sale we have had in 18 years despite a drastic increase in the number of properties on the tax roll. This indicates that more property owners are taking care of their tax debts in a timely fashion.
During the sale, which was held in the misdemeanor courtroom at the Justice Center, 661 properties were successfully auctioned. Another 194 properties were adjudicated to the parish. (This means that no buyer placed a bid on the property, and the parish assumes the tax lien against the property until redeemed).
The St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office Property Tax Division collected just under $1.2 million through the sale. These funds do not go to the Sheriff’s Office. They will be distributed to the parish’s various taxing entities in proportion to their respective tax millage rates.
When a buyer bids on, and “purchases,” a property at the sale, what they are really buying is the tax debt. For example, if there is an outstanding tax bill of $200 on a property, the buyer pays that amount (plus certain fees and penalties). When the original property owner eventually redeems their property, the buyer is refunded their $200 investment with interest (plus any fees/penalties). Only after a sale remains unredeemed for years can a buyer apply to receive full title to the property.
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