Beaufort News

Nearly $23 million bid during two-day tax sale

Beaufort County expects to collect nearly $22.9 million on 1,572 properties in its two-day tax sale auction that ended Tuesday, according to Beaufort County Treasurer Joy Logan.

She said everything ran smoothly during the auction that started with a $1.1 million winning bid on a property in Sea Pines. All but 93 of this year's bids have been paid, and Logan expects the rest to be paid by today.

About $3.4 million in delinquent taxes was owed on the properties in the auction, Logan said. Less than $1 million in taxes was owed on 1,230 properties in last year's sale, when the county collected $20.5 million.

Owners of those sold properties will have one year to pay their delinquent taxes, plus interest, or the ownership is transferred to the winning bidders.

More than 500 properties did not receive bids, and they will go to the county's Forfeited Land Commission. After they are processed by the Treasurer's Office, the properties will again be on the block, with the opening bid equal to the amount of taxes owed.

Logan said about 150 properties were not redeemed by their owners from last year's tax sale, and she estimated that about 50 of those will go to heirs of the former property owners. The county allows heirs to buy the property of their relatives without a competitive bidding process.