Forrest County schools, government benefit from forfeited land

By HASKEL BURNS,

Forrest County is the recipient of $34,786.89 generated by tax-forfeited property sales released by Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann’s office that will benefit the coffers of the county’s local schools and government.

That includes $5,763.61 to the chancery clerk’s office, $309.69 to the sheriff’s department, $20,090.33 to the board of supervisors, $3,182.05 to the city of Hattiesburg, $13.84 to the city of Petal, $2,675.64 to the Forrest County School District and $2,751.73 to the Hattiesburg Public School District.

The funds are from the sale of 85 tax-forfeited parcels of land in the county and are part of $507,404.48 released to 49 counties across Mississippi, the result of the auction of more than 1,000 parcels throughout the state.

“Approximately half of this money will go back to public schools around Mississippi, and that’s generated millions of dollars for public schools,” Hosemann said. “And for counties and cities that are strapped for money, to get this money back is important.

“Equally or more important, this money goes back on the tax rolls, so as people buy this land they start paying the full amount of taxes on it every year, and that is a recurring set of revenue for the future. And typically, when people buy this, they’ll clean up the lot or they’ll add a building to the structure, or they may renovate a building that’s there. All of those things are good for the community, to have people invest private dollars in real estate in the community – that’s very important.”

Tax-forfeited properties become available when the landowners fail to pay taxes on the land after a certain grace period. The parcels are then put up for sale, usually over the summer of each year.

Any parcels that fail to sell are held by the county for another year before being put up for sale again. Parcels that do not sell at that point will have their title taken over by the state, where the land is listed for sale during online auctions at www.sos.ms.gov. 

“You’ll see all of them listed, county by county, and by parcel number, so you can look them up,” Hosemann said. “So we encourage everybody to do that, and that has really assisted us in selling these forfeited properties.”

Forrest County is one of 19 counties in the state that received more than $5,000 from the sale of the properties, along with Adams, Bolivar, Coahoma, Hancock, Harrison, Hinds, Holmes, Humphreys, Jackson, Jones, Lauderdale, Leflore, Madison, Panola, Pearl River, Rankin, Warren and Washington counties.

Hosemann said the sale of the properties also helps communities with issues such as cleanup, particularly in that county and city governments won’t be responsible for that work.

“It’s all positive here, and I’ve put a great emphasis on this,” he said. “These are parcels that at least three different times, nobody else wanted, so some of these parcels we might have owned three or four years, and some of them maybe 10 years.”

For more information on tax-forfeited land sales, call the Secretary of State’s Public Lands Division at (601) 359-5156.

 

 

That includes $5,763.61 to the chancery clerk’s office, $309.69 to the sheriff’s department, $20,090.33 to the board of supervisors, $3,182.05 to the city of Hattiesburg, $13.84 to the city of Petal, $2,675.64 to the Forrest County School District and $2,751.73 to the Hattiesburg Public School District.

The funds are from the sale of 85 tax-forfeited parcels of land in the county and are part of $507,404.48 released to 49 counties across Mississippi, the result of the auction of more than 1,000 parcels throughout the state.

“Approximately half of this money will go back to public schools around Mississippi, and that’s generated millions of dollars for public schools,” Hosemann said. “And for counties and cities that are strapped for money, to get this money back is important.

“Equally or more important, this money goes back on the tax rolls, so as people buy this land they start paying the full amount of taxes on it every year, and that is a recurring set of revenue for the future. And typically, when people buy this, they’ll clean up the lot or they’ll add a building to the structure, or they may renovate a building that’s there. All of those things are good for the community, to have people invest private dollars in real estate in the community – that’s very important.”

Tax-forfeited properties become available when the landowners fail to pay taxes on the land after a certain grace period. The parcels are then put up for sale, usually over the summer of each year.

Any parcels that fail to sell are held by the county for another year before being put up for sale again. Parcels that do not sell at that point will have their title taken over by the state, where the land is listed for sale during online auctions at www.sos.ms.gov. 

“You’ll see all of them listed, county by county, and by parcel number, so you can look them up,” Hosemann said. “So we encourage everybody to do that, and that has really assisted us in selling these forfeited properties.”

Forrest County is one of 19 counties in the state that received more than $5,000 from the sale of the properties, along with Adams, Bolivar, Coahoma, Hancock, Harrison, Hinds, Holmes, Humphreys, Jackson, Jones, Lauderdale, Leflore, Madison, Panola, Pearl River, Rankin, Warren and Washington counties.

Hosemann said the sale of the properties also helps communities with issues such as cleanup, particularly in that county and city governments won’t be responsible for that work.

“It’s all positive here, and I’ve put a great emphasis on this,” he said. “These are parcels that at least three different times, nobody else wanted, so some of these parcels we might have owned three or four years, and some of them maybe 10 years.”

For more information on tax-forfeited land sales, call the Secretary of State’s Public Lands Division at (601) 359-5156.