Changes coming to W.Va.’s annual real estate tax lien sale

County sheriff’s departments will no longer conduct W.Va's annual real estate tax lien sale
County sheriff’s departments will no longer conduct W.Va's annual real estate tax lien sale(WVVA)
Published: Sep. 16, 2022 at 3:34 PM EDT
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BECKLEY, W.Va. (WVVA) - BECKLEY, W.Va. (WVVA) - For the first time in three decades, major changes are coming to West Virginia’s real estate tax sale process.

As part of these changes, county Sheriff’s Departments will no longer conduct the annual sale. Legislative action was taken this year to turn that responsibility to the state auditor’s office.

WVVA reached out to the West Virginia State Auditor’s Office to learn more about these changes. Christal Perry, Deputy Director of Land, says they were seeing out-of-state buyers purchasing delinquent properties at low interest rates for personal gain rather than state betterment.

“The goal of this is to make sure that these properties are back on the tax roll and they’re being productive,” she said. “And, with the old tax sale system, it created an atmosphere of dispeculative biding.”

Perry and Russ Rollyson, Senior Deputy State Auditor, say other changes include tax payment plans for families in hardship and giving priority buying of deliquent properties to the owners of adjacent properties.

As for the Sheriff’s Tax Office, they must annually certify a list of delinquent properties to the auditor’s office at the close of business on October 31. Those properties remain with the auditor’s office where the owner can reclaim them at any time. The properties will be certified for sale the following spring.

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