Tax Sale Procedures

Taxes, Penalties and Rollover
All taxes are due and payable between the thirtieth day of September and the fifteenth day of January after their assessment in each year. When taxes are not paid before the sixteenth day of January. a three percent penalty is added to the amount due. If taxes still remain unpaid after the first day in February, an additional seven percent penalty is applied to the amount due. Finally, if taxes are not paid before the seventeenth day of March, an additional five percent penalty is applied (for a total of fifteen percent) and the tax bill is considered delinquent. At that time, the County Treasurer issues his tax execution to the County Tax Collector who is charged with collecting delinquent taxes, assessments, penalties and costs for collection. 

Execution Notices, Notice of Seizure/Posting, Advertisement
Once a tax bill is delinquent, and execution notice is issued upon the property for which the tax bill is assessed. If the tax bill remains unpaid thirty days after the execution notice is mailed, a Notice of Seizure is issued upon the property. This notice is required to be mailed "Certified-Restricted Delivery." If the Notice of Seizure is returned to the tax collector unsigned or not properly signed, the property must be physically posted as seized by the County Tax Collector. If the taxes still are not paid, the property must be advertised in a news publication of general circulation within the county stating that unless taxes are paid, the property will be sold at public auction and where and when the auction will take place. The advertisement includes the delinquent taxpayer's name and a reference to the county's map-block-parcel number for each property. The advertisement must be published once a week for three consecutive weeks prior to the sale of real property. 

Tax Sale, Forfeited Land Commission Bid
The tax sale is conducted as a public auction. The opening bid, submitted for the Forfeited Land Commission, will be equal to all delinquent taxes, penalties and costs due plus the current year's taxes due. If a defaulting taxpayer has more than one item to be sold, as soon as sufficient funds have been accrued to cover all of the defaulting taxpayer's delinquent taxes, no further items may be sold. 

The successful bidder at the Delinquent Tax Sale must pay legal tender (cash, cashier's check, certified check, or money order) to the County Tax Collector before the close of the Tax Sale. If the successful bidder fails to remit legal tender, he or she is then liable fore $500.00 per property, which is collectible by the Tax Collector. 

Redemption Period
The defaulting taxpayer, any grantee from the owner, or any mortgage or judgement creditor may redeem each item of real estate within twelve months from the date of the delinquent tax sale. The redemption amount, payable to the Tax Collector, is the total of the delinquent taxes, penalties and costs along with interest as explained below. If the successful bidder assigns his interest in any real property purchased at the Delinquent Tax Sale before the end of the redemption period, the grantee from the successful bidder shall furnish the Tax Collector with a conveyance, witnessed and notarized, a copy of the bid assignment form may be obtained from the Tax Collector's Office.

Bidder checks (for the bid amount plus interest) will be mailed to the successful bidder, or their grantee, once a property has been redeemed and funds have been verified by the Tax Collector and pay periods have been determined. 

Interest Due on Redemption
Interest is due on the amount of the successful bid at the Tax Sale based on the month during the redemption period the property is redeemed according to the following schedule:

Month of Redemption Period Property Redeemed Interest                                                                   
First three months 3%
Months four, five or six 6%
Months seven, eight or nine 9%
Months ten, eleven or twelve 12%

However, in every redemption, the amount of interest due must not exceed the amount of the bid submitted on behalf of the Forfeited Land Commission pursuant to Code Section 12-51-55. As explained above, the opening bid will be submitted for the Forfeited Land Commission and will be equal to all delinquent taxes, penalties and costs due plus the current year's taxes due. 

If a mobile home is sold to a successful bidder, the defaulting taxpayer also must pay rent to the bidder at the time of redemption an amount not to exceed one-twelfth of the taxes for the last completed property tax year, exclusive of penalties, costs, and interest for each month between the sale and redemption. The rent amount is provided to both the defaulting taxpayer and the successful bidder. 

If the Tax Collector determines that there has been an error in preparing a particular property for sale, and that error could have hindered payment of the delinquent tax, the Tax Collector must cancel the sale. The successful bidder will be returned the full bid amount, plus the interest provided in Section 12-51-150.

Tax Deeds
If a taxpayer does not redeem his or her property from a tax sale within the twelve month redemption period, the Tax Collector shall as soon as possible, issue a tax deed to the successful bidder or their grantee. The tax deed is not a warranted deed, but conveys the interest held by the county in the property to bidder. 

During the year, if you have any questions, please contact the Delinquent Tax Office at 864-596-2597 or
P.O. Box 3060, Spartanburg, SC 29304