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Indicates Matter Stricken
Indicates New Matter
AMENDED SECOND TIME
February 1, 2006
S. Printed 2/1/06--H.
Read the first time March 15, 2005.
TO AMEND SECTION 5-7-300, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO THE COLLECTION OF DELINQUENT AD VALOREM PROPERTY TAX BY A MUNICIPALITY, SO AS TO MAKE A LIEN FOR MUNICIPAL TAXES WHEN PAYING A LIEN FOR STATE OR COUNTY TAXES, A FIRST LIEN WHEN PAYMENT OF A MUNICIPAL LIEN IS NOT MADE; AND TO AMEND SECTION 12-51-130, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO THE EXECUTION AND DELIVERY OF A TAX TITLE, SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT, IF THE TAX SALE OF AN ITEM PRODUCES MORE CASH THAN THE FULL AMOUNT DUE, THE COVERAGE MUST BE APPLIED TO ANY OUTSTANDING MUNICIPAL TAX LIENS ON THE PROPERTY.
Amend Title To Conform
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
SECTION 1. Section 5-7-300(A) of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"(A) All municipalities of the State may provide by ordinance a procedure for the collection of delinquent real and personal property taxes, except taxes on motor vehicles. The municipal governing body may provide for a penalty not exceeding fifteen percent of the taxes levied for nonpayment of these taxes payable when the taxes become delinquent. The property taxes levied, with any penalty added for nonpayment when due and costs of execution, are a lien upon the property upon which the tax is levied until paid. The lien is paramount to all other liens except the lien for county and state taxes. Payment of a lien for state or county taxes, without payment of a lien for municipal taxes, does not extinguish a lien for municipal taxes. For those municipalities that, as of the effective date of this sentence collect their delinquent municipal taxes without an agreement as to collection with a county, such payment makes the municipal lien a first lien on the property which shall continue in full force and effect until legally discharged."
SECTION 2. Section 12-51-130 of the 1976 Code, as last amended by Act 399 of 2000, is further amended to read:
"Section 12-51-130. Upon failure of the defaulting taxpayer, a grantee from the owner, a mortgagee, a judgment creditor, or a lessee of the property to redeem realty within the time period allowed for redemption, the person officially charged with the collection of delinquent taxes, within thirty days or as soon after that as possible, shall make a tax title to the purchaser or the purchaser's assignee. Delivery of the tax title to the clerk of court or register of deeds is considered 'putting the purchaser, or assignee, in possession'. The tax title must include, among other things, the name of the defaulting taxpayer, the name of any grantee of record of the property, the date of execution, the date the realty was posted and by whom, and the dates each certified notice was mailed to the party or parties of interest, to whom mailed and whether or not received by the addressee. The successful purchaser, or assignee, is responsible in the amount of fifteen dollars for the cost of the tax title plus documentary stamps necessary to be affixed and recording fees. The successful purchaser, or assignee, shall pay the amounts to the person officially charged with the collection of delinquent taxes before delivery of the tax title to the clerk of court or register of deeds and, upon payment, the person officially charged with the collection of delinquent taxes is responsible for promptly transmitting the tax title to the clerk of court or register of deeds for recording and remitting the recording fee and documentary stamps cost. If the tax sale of an item produced more cash than the full amount due in taxes, assessments, penalties, and costs, the overage must be applied to any outstanding municipal tax liens on the property. Any remaining overage belongs to the owner of record immediately before the end of the redemption period to be claimed or assigned according to law. These sums are payable ninety days after execution of the deed unless a judicial action is instituted during that time by another claimant. If neither claimed nor assigned within five years of date of public auction tax sale, the overage shall escheat to the general fund of the governing body. Before the escheat date unclaimed overages must be kept in a separate account and must be invested so as not to be idle and the governing body of the political subdivision is entitled to the earnings for keeping the overage. On escheat date the overage must be transferred to the general funds of the governing body."
SECTION 3. A. Section 12-51-90 of the 1976 Code, as last amended by Act 89 of 2001, is further amended by adding at the end:
(C) If the defaulting taxpayer, grantee from the owner, or mortgage or judgment creditor fails to redeem the item of real estate sold at the delinquent tax sale within the twelve months provided in subsection (A) and after the passing of an additional twelve months, the tax deed issued twenty-four months earlier at the delinquent tax sale is incontestable on procedural or other grounds.
B. Section 12-51-160 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
Section 12-51-160. In all cases of tax sale the deed of conveyance, whether executed to a private person, a corporation, or a forfeited land commission,
must be held and taken as is prima facie evidence of a good title in the holder, that all proceedings have been regular and that all legal requirements have been complied with. No An action for the recovery of land sold under the provisions of pursuant to this chapter or for the recovery of the possession may be must not be maintained unless brought within two years from the date of sale as provided in Section 12-51-90(c).
SECTION 4. Section 12-51-40 of the 1976 Code, as last amended by Act 399 of 2000, is further amended to read:
"Section 12-51-40. After the county treasurer issues his execution against a defaulting taxpayer in his jurisdiction, as provided in Section 12-45-180, signed by him or his agent in his official capacity, directed to the officer authorized to collect delinquent taxes, assessments, penalties, and costs, requiring him to levy the execution by distress and sale of the defaulting taxpayer's estate, real or personal, or both, or property transferred by the defaulting taxpayer, the value of which generated all or part of the tax, to satisfy the taxes, assessments, penalties, and costs, the officer to which the execution is directed shall:
(a) On April first or as soon after that as practicable, mail a notice of delinquent property taxes, penalties, assessments, and costs to the defaulting taxpayer and to
a any grantee and mortgagee of record of the property, whose value generated all or part of the tax. The notice must be mailed to the best address available , which . In the case of the defaulting taxpayer and grantee of record, the best address available is either the address shown on the deed conveying the property to him, the property address, or other corrected or forwarding address of which the officer authorized to collect delinquent taxes, penalties, and costs has actual knowledge. In case of a mortgagee of record, the best address available is the address provided for these purposes by the mortgagee of record or its servicing agent that is sent by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the officer authorized to collect delinquent taxes, assessments, penalties, and costs, or if no address has been provided, the most recent address on the mortgage, mortgage modification, or mortgage assignment of record. The notice must specify that if the taxes, penalties, assessments, and costs are not paid, the property must be advertised and sold to satisfy the delinquency.
(b) If the taxes remain unpaid after thirty days from the date of mailing of the delinquent notice, or as soon thereafter as practicable, take exclusive possession of the property necessary to satisfy the payment of the taxes, assessments, penalties, and costs. In the case of real property, exclusive possession is taken by mailing a notice of delinquent property taxes, assessments, penalties, and costs to the defaulting taxpayer and any grantee of record of the property and any mortgagee of record at the address shown on the tax receipt or to an address of which the officer has actual knowledge as provided in subsection (a), by 'certified mail, return receipt requested-restricted delivery' pursuant to the United States Postal Service 'Domestic Mail Manual Section S912'. If the addressee is an entity instead of an individual, the notice must be mailed to its last known post office address by certified mail, return receipt requested, as described in Section S912. In the case of personal property, exclusive possession is taken by mailing the notice of delinquent property taxes, assessments, penalties, and costs to the person at the address shown on the tax receipt or to an address of which the officer has actual knowledge. All delinquent notices shall specify that if the taxes, assessments, penalties, and costs are not paid before a subsequent sales date, the property must be duly advertised and sold for delinquent property taxes, assessments, penalties, and costs. The return receipt of the 'certified mail' notice is equivalent to 'levying by distress'.
(c) If the 'certified mail' notice has been returned, take exclusive physical possession of the property against which the taxes, assessments, penalties, and costs were assessed by posting a notice at one or more conspicuous places on the premises, in the case of real estate, reading: 'Seized by person officially charged with the collection of delinquent taxes of (name of political subdivision) to be sold for delinquent taxes', the posting of the notice is equivalent to levying by distress, seizing, and taking exclusive possession of it, or by taking exclusive possession of personalty. In the case of personal property, the person officially charged with the collection of delinquent taxes is not required to move the personal property from where situated at the time of seizure and further, the personal property may not be moved after seized by anyone under penalty of conversion unless delinquent taxes, assessments, penalties, and costs have been paid. Mobile homes are considered to be personal property for the purposes of this section unless the owner gives written notice to the auditor of the mobile home's annexation to the land on which it is situated.
(d) The property must be advertised for sale at public auction. The advertisement must be in a newspaper of general circulation within the county or municipality, if applicable, and must be entitled 'Delinquent Tax Sale'. It must include the delinquent taxpayer's name and the description of the property, a reference to the county auditor's map-block-parcel number being sufficient for a description of realty. The advertising must be published once a week before the legal sales date for three consecutive weeks for the sale of real property, and two consecutive weeks for the sale of personal property. All expenses of the levy, seizure, and sale must be added and collected as additional costs, and must include, but not be limited to, the expenses of taking possession of real or personal property, advertising, storage, identifying the boundaries of the property, and mailing certified notices. When the real property is divisible, the tax assessor, county treasurer, and county auditor may ascertain that portion of the property that is sufficient to realize a sum upon sale sufficient to satisfy the payment of the taxes, assessments, penalties, and costs. In those cases, the officer may partition the property and furnish a legal description of it.
(e) As an alternative, upon approval by the county governing body, a county may use the procedures provided in Chapter 56, Title 12 as the initial step in the collection of delinquent taxes on real and personal property.
(f) For the purpose of enforcing payment and collection of property taxes when the true owner is unknown because of the death of the owner of record and the absence of probate administration of the decedent's estate, the property must be advertised and sold in the name of the deceased owner of record."
SECTION 5. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.
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