Tax Sale Last Resort Only for Walkaway Properties

It is often helpful for counties to keep properties out of tax sale because a number of properties are often party to tax sale multiple times. House Bill 1112 would grant county governments the authority to keep certain vacant and abandoned properties out of tax sale, while focusing efforts on economically developing them. MACo Associate Director Barbara Zektick submitted written testimony in support of HB 1112, “Tax Sales – Vacant and Abandoned Property”, to the House Ways and Means Committee.

This enabling legislation would aid county governments in efficiently collecting tax revenue and effectively utilizing properties by retaining control and keeping them out of tax sale.

From MACo Testimony:

Counties find tax sale as an effective means of last resort to collect overdue tax bills and other fees owed local governments. Some counties, however, find that a number of blighted properties appear on the tax sale rolls over and over again, only to remain unsold. In these instances, the county is wholly unable to facilitate collections through the tax sale process, and the property remains a nuisance to law-abiding taxpayers. This bill, along with a number of other bills originating from the Task Force, will enable counties to break this fruitless and administratively burdensome cycle and instead turn the properties over to more productive use.”

For more updates, follow MACo’s advocacy efforts during the 2018 legislative session here.