A Word About Tax Forfeited Land Lists

Mississippi is the only state I know which SUPER CONVENIENTLY posts, online, county-by-county lists of tax-forfeited land.

Of which they have A LOT. Which is odd, in a way, because like I just said...Mississippi is the ONLY STATE to put those lists online. Other places you have to dig, county-by-county, and sometimes even pay for a copy of the list.  

If you want to buy tax-forfeited land in Mississippi, use their process and their websites:

Here is their most recent website, from 2014


http://www.sos.ms.gov/Public-Lands/Pages/Tax-Forfeited-Lands.aspx

Though, oddly, Mississippi appears to maintain TWO websites on the subject of tax-forfeited lands, and the OLDER website (2003) is the much, much better website.

http://lands.sos.state.ms.us/tfl/search.asp

But is the information on that old website CURRENT? If the website has old and inaccurate information, why wouldn't it be pulled down a long time ago?  And, interestingly, I have found my way to the SECOND website using a path from the FIRST website.

http://www.sos.ms.gov/Applications/Pages/Tax-Forfeited-Lands.aspx 

But when I searched a particular county upon both websites I could have sworn I got DIFFERENT results.

To heck with it. I'm using the SECOND website. Because the first one is awkward to use and even if the data is not CURRENT, I do not NEED current data.

But the status of this land doesn't interest me very much. I mean, I'm happy to raise interest in tax-forfeited property, which can be purchased and made productive again...even if "productive" means planting trees. Furthermore, the authorities in Mississippi have made it known how concerned they are about the amount of tax forfeited property, calling it a "blight" upon the state; here's an article about that:

http://msrealtors.org/About/NewsArchivesShow.php?id=408

That article is one example. If you search "blight" and "Mississippi" and "tax forfeited" you will find a number of articles that all emphasize the same point: these lands are a problem because these lands aren't on the tax rolls and are the opposite of economically productive.

But my interest in the county-by-county forfeiture lists is specific to the names and addresses. This is the kind of thing people are searching for, and as far as I can tell the information from those websites is NOT crawled, not fed into Google. Since the website contains information produced by a state government, that information is NOT subject to copyright. I am not defying the Honorable Secretary of State of the soveriegn state of Mississippi, I am only saying:

SIR, that information is NOT subject to copyright.

So I simply want to feed these names and connected addresses (and other information) into Google for those who need the information. And when it comes to uncrawled-yet-valuable information, tax-forfeited land in Mississippi is an unexplored Google frontier. These are unique NAMES connected to LAND and to PHYSICAL ADDRESSES and to FACTS (tax forfeiture). It is a rich mine of data which needs to be, well, MINED.

So here goes.

BY THE WAY, though, if you want to buy this land the process goes something like this: You get the right form, available on the SECOND website (might be available on the first, didn't bother to look, I don't LIKE the first one). You fill out the form with your offer on the land (I will get to that) and enclose a money order, certified check or something besides a potentially bouncy check FOR THE WHOLE AMOUNT YOU ARE OFFERING.

Don't worry, if they don't accept your offer, you will get your money order back. There might be a separate check in some small amount for processing. Read the darn instructions; don't depend on me. I am merely putting out this thumbnail explanation to expose and familiarize people with a passing interest.

So, anyway, if they accept your offer you're in business. There's more after that...deed registration and so forth...but to get to that point they have to accept your offer. What do you offer? The tried-and-true formula is half the market value, or the full amount of the tax forfeiture, whichever is greater. The powers-that-be could turn you down, even if you follow the formula...for example, the people who decide have discretion, it seems, and they might decide to have mercy upon somebody occupying the land but not paying taxes...but, generally, this is the formula and their website (the good one, the SECOND one) has instructions to that effect.

So, you know, good luck because there are many ways to make a mistake and real property ownership is a liability, and the purchase of land is fraught with peril. This blog might get you started, might give you a clue, but if you are ONLY using this blog for information...that would be foolish.

Good luck, and remember a man who owns land, no matter how worn down and humble, is a king. A man who rents, no matter how comfortable and opulent, is a serf.





1 comment:

  1. VERY USEFUL INFORMATION!!! I THINK A LOT OF PEOPLE DON'T KNOW ABOUT THIS. THEY'RE JUST DANGLING THE LAND OUT THERE BASICALLY!!!

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for your comment. Unless, of course, it iss one of those comments questioning my motivations in rude and crude terms, threatening to sue me for posting information available on public government websites, and/or saying I can not possibly judge a person on the basis of a few criminal charges. In that case, I could not care less about your comment and believe me when I say I am just going to keep on doing exactly what I am doing. So stay out of jail and you will not be on this blog. And by the way, state governments and their political subdivisions (counties) can not produce copyrighted material...especially when it comes to lists of people in jail. So save a tree, save a stamp, save your time, save some face and do not bother telling me to cease and desist.