Braxton Citizens' News, Government

State Auditor to take over Sheriff’s Tax Sale

Beginning this year, the Sheriff of Braxton County will no longer conduct the sale of land due to delinquent real estate taxes, normally held in late October. The change comes with the passage of Senate Bill 552 which was enacted earlier this year. Now the West Virginia State Auditor will conduct that sale in a much different format.

The Sheriff of each county must certify a list of unpaid real estate taxes to the State Auditor my November 1. Individuals may pay their taxes to the Auditor between November 1 and the time of the sale.

Between March 1 and August 1 of each year, the Auditor shall certify a list of all lands subject to sale. Property owners named on that list will be assessed a new charge of $25 in addition to taxes, interest, and charges already due on each tract listed. This new fee is designed to cover the costs incurred by the Auditor in the preparation of the list, and in the event of sale or redemption.

Each tract or lot certified by the Auditor pursuant to §11A-3-44 of the code shall be sold by him or her at public auction. That sale will be held at the county courthouse during normal operating hours on any business day within 90 days after the Auditor has certified the lands as required by the code. The payment of property purchased at a sale shall be made to the Auditor and delivered before the close of business on the day of sale. If the sale is not completed on the first day of the sale, it shall be continued from day to day between the same hours until all land has been offered for sale.

Currently, delinquent taxes subject to public sale will continue to be printed in local newspapers. In addition, the Sheriff will be responsible for notifying the property owner by registered mail of their obligation.