Burr & Forman

02.5.2018   |   Articles / Publications

Cumberland Law Review: Reducing Alabama State-Owned, Tax-Delinquent Properties by Clarifying the Law of Redemption

The State of Alabama owns tens of thousands of taxdelinquent properties, and that number is increasing at an alarming rate. According to a recent Cumberland Law Review article, the state owned 8,595 taxdelinquent properties in 2005, and the number jumped to 25,000 by 2012, representing $141 million in property value at that time. The increase continued after 2012, reaching a total of 38,664 stateowned taxdelinquent properties as of September 21, 2017. These properties create a multitude of problems for the state and local communities. For one, they represent millions of dollars in uncollected property tax revenues, on which counties, cities, and local school districts rely. Further, because stateowned properties are not taxed, they represent the continuing loss of millions of dollars of tax revenue each year during the state’s ownership. Moreover, there is a high correlation between urban blight and the number of taxdelinquent properties, and efforts to address blighted properties are intertwined with the state’s ability to sell taxdelinquent properties.

Given the magnitude of this problem, the wide array of factors impacting the state’s ability to sell its tax-delinquent properties need to be carefully considered. This article focuses only on a specific factor relating to the demand for the state’s properties: the impact that an ambiguity involving Alabama’s property tax sale redemption law has on the demand for the state’s properties. The article seeks to clarify the law in that area to improve the demand for state-owned properties and maximize the benefit to the state.

Read the full article, “Reducing Alabama State-Owned, Tax-Delinquent Properties by Clarifying the Law of Redemption” written by William Hereford.

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