Special to the Banner-News
The recent auction of tax-delinquent properties in Columbia County raised over $65,000, the Commissioner of State Lands announced.
The auction drew 31 bidders, who purchased 30 of the 45 available parcels for a total of $65,380.29 for county and state government.
The Land Commissioner's office holds one auction in each county each year to return tax-delinquent land to active status. Since all 2020 public auctions were canceled due to the COVID pandemic, this year's auctions offer properties that were scheduled for sale last year.
"Only a small percentage of property certified to our office goes to auction," Commissioner Tommy Land said. "The vast majority of owners redeem their property by paying the delinquent taxes. Of course, we always prefer that property be redeemed, but it is vital that the parcels return to the county's active tax rolls."
The COSL office forwards taxes and interest to the county, whether that money is collected through redemption or sale.
"Last year, this office sent more than $17 million to school districts and county governments," Land said. "Of that, $132,872.84 went to Columbia County, helping fund everything from roads to schools."
Property owners have 10 business days to redeem parcels that were sold at auction. This can be done online at www.cosl.org, using a credit or debit card, or owners can call 501-324-9422 to request a Petition to Redeem.
If a parcel is not redeemed within 10 business days of being auctioned, the COSL will issue a Limited Warranty Deed to the buyer.
Property that did not sell at the public auction will be available after 30 days and can be purchased through an online auction by viewing the Post-Auction Sales List at www.cosl.org.