Frequently Asked Questions
What kind of sales do you hold?
We conduct public auctions of lands that were forfeited to the state for
non-payment of real property taxes.
They are held once a year in the county where the property is located.
How do I know which properties will be available for sale?
The Commissioner of State Lands publishes a legal notice in the county
newspaper prior to the sale. His
office also publishes a free quarterly catalog of available land. To receive this
free catalog, submit a request form
found in a current catalog, call the Commissioner of State Lands office, or
visit our website.
How can I get more information on a particular piece of property (e.g.
location, structures, etc.)?
You should contact the county assessor.
How is the “assessed value” determined?
The assessed value of the property is determined by the county assessor.
Who is entitled to redeem property from the Commissioner of State Lands
Record owners, heirs, assigns and agents of record owners are entitled to
redeem property. Also, persons or
entities with recorded interests, such as lien holders, may also be entitled to
What kind of title do I get if I purchase land at one of the auctions?
A: The state executes a Limited Warranty Deed, which conveys whatever
interest the state has in the property to the purchaser. Generally, title insurance will not
be issued on the strength of a Limited Warranty Deed alone.
When will I receive my Limited Warranty Deed?
Deeds cannot be issued until after the 30-day redemption period has
expired and all checks have cleared.
How does a successful bidder pay for the property?
The full purchase price (amount of the successful bid plus tax due as
stated in the catalog) must be paid the day of the auction. The first $100 of EACH PARCEL
PURCHASED must be paid in cash, cashier’s check or money order. The remainder may be paid by a
personal or corporate check.
Should I make improvements to property I purchase at tax sales?
It is recommended that no significant improvements be made to the
property prior to the expiration of the one (1) year litigation period.
What happens if the sale is set aside, or the Commissioner or judge
declares the deed void?
In the event a sale or deed is canceled by the Commissioner or a judge,
the purchaser is entitled to a full refund (no interest accruing) of all monies
paid to the state for the purchase of the property. In addition, all taxes, penalties,
interest and costs due on the property must be paid by the party challenging the
tax sale or deed.
Can I redeem or purchase delinquent mineral rights from the Commissioner
of State Lands office?
Tax delinquent mineral interests may be redeemed at any time. In some limited situations, the
mineral rights may be purchased from the Commissioner of State Lands.
What happens to property that is offered for sale at public auction, but
does not sell?
Such property is available for sale no less than 90 days after the date
of the auction where it was offered.
The purchaser obtains and completes an “Offer to Purchase” form provided by the
Commissioner of State Lands making an offer on the property.
Will I be responsible for delinquent special improvement district fees
assessed against the property?
A: Probably yes. All potential purchasers should research
the property records maintained by the county tax assessor, tax collector and
circuit clerk in order to determine if additional fees are owed on the property.