County considers land salePublished 12:06am Friday, July 6, 2012
NATCHEZ — Adams County has seventy-two parcels of land that Adams County Supervisor David Carter characterizes as not doing anything for anybody.
And that land should be back in the hands of Adams County’s taxpayers, Carter said. If he can, Carter said he wants to organize a land sale to make that happen.
The lands to which Carter referred were forfeited to the state because the property owners failed to remit the taxes owed on the land. Some have been sitting on state rolls since the early 1980s; at least one parcel goes as far back as 1975.
Unproductive properties both suck the value of the properties around them down, and while the landowners surrounding the properties are paying taxes, those lands don’t generate any kind of revenue, Carter said.
“The state actually has (ownership of) them, but nobody is collecting taxes on those lands,” he said. “Even if it is just a quarter of an acre, somebody will be getting something on it.”
Mississippi Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann presented the solution to him recently at the Mississippi Association of Supervisors convention in Biloxi, Carter said.
The secretary told Carter the state has had several land auctions of tax-forfeited properties in other counties, and Carter said he would like to see the same thing happen in Adams County.
“When these properties go up for sale, maybe a neighbor can buy it, clean it up and have some green space,” Carter said. “There are some of these properties in every part of the county.”
Carter also said that some of the parcels of land could be converted into a park.
Tax forfeited properties first go up for sale in an annual auction by the local tax collector’s office.
If the lands are not sold at the auction and no one redeems the taxes on the property in the two years following the auction, Adams County Chancery Clerk Tommy O’Beirne said he deeds the land over to the state, and it is placed in a portfolio of state-owned lands.
And, Carter said, hopefully that portfolio can soon be opened to Adams County residents.
“It may take us a few months to get there, but hopefully in the near future we can get with the secretary of state and find a way to make these properties available to any county citizen,” Carter said.
A list of tax forfeited lands in Adams County can be viewed at http://lands.sos.state.ms.us/tfl/index.asp.