THE PURPOSE OF THE TAX SALE
A tax sale is the forced collection of property tax for a specific year. Before a property is sold for taxes, three (3) tax notices are mailed. The last notice is mailed certified, restricted delivery, with returned receipt. Property may also be physically levied.
The Treasurer conducts the delinquent tax sale the first Monday in October. All sales begin at 10:00 a.m. and will last from a few hours up to two (2) days. The second day of the sale will also begin at 10:00 a.m.
All real estate subject to sale must be advertised once per week for three (3) consecutive weeks prior to the tax sale date. All personal property subject to sale must be advertised once per week for two (2) consecutive weeks prior to the tax sale date.
Ads will be published in the Beaufort Gazette, Island Packet, and The Gullah Sentinel and are also available online at this County website beginning in September.
CONDITIONS OF SALE
The sale is an open auction. Properties are sold in the same order as advertised.
The opening bid includes any delinquent taxes and taxes owed for the upcoming tax year. If, in the event the property is not redeemed, it will be deeded over to the successful bidder.
All bid payments and deed preparation fees must be made before the close of business on the day of the sale with guaranteed funds. Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover debit/credit cards are accepted. A tax sale receipt will be issued to the bidder.
- A 2.75% transaction fee shall be collected on all credit card payments.
- A $3.95 transaction fee shall be collected on all debit card payments.
Any successful bidder who does not pay for the bid is subject to a fine of $300.00 per property pursuant to S.C. 12-51-70.
Real property has a 12-month-plus-one-day redemption period. If a property is redeemed, the bidder will be notified by mail. At that time, the temporary tax sale receipt must be returned to the Treasurer's office for a refund of the bid, deed preparation fees, and applicable interest. Interest is accrued by adding 3% of the bid per quarter. The interest shall not exceed the opening bid amount.
In the event the temporary tax sale receipt is lost, there will be a $25.00 fee and 10 days' waiting period before your check is issued.
Mobile homes also have a 12-month-plus-one-day redemption period. However, before the mobile home can be redeemed, rent must be satisfied with the bidder. Monthly rent is equivalent to 1/12th of the year's tax.
Redemptions can be made by the defaulting taxpayer, a lien holder, or an agent for either one.
No redemption period exists for all other forms of property (i.e. boats, furniture, planes). Once the property is sold at tax sale, a bill-of-sale is issued.
If real property is not redeemed, a delinquent tax sale deed is issued within 90 days of the end of the redemption period in the successful bidder’s name and submitted to the Beaufort County Register of Deeds for recording. All property is deeded lien free. The recording process will take four to six weeks from the time the deed is submitted.
VOIDED TAX SALE
The Treasurer can void a tax sale. If this occurs, the bidder will be notified by mail. The bid amount, deed preparation fees, and applicable interest will be refunded.
FORFEITED LAND COMMISSION (FLC)
The Forfeited Land Commission is made up of a committee consisting of the Beaufort County Treasurer, Auditor, and Register of Deeds. Properties with delinquent taxes owed become part of the Forfeited Land Commission when they have been advertised and presented for sale at tax sale and received no bid activity. At that point, the property reverts to Beaufort County FLC as the legal owner of said property. The FLC Committee is the governing body with regard to disposal of each property being in the best interest of the taxpayers of Beaufort County.
To verify the availability of FLC (Forfeited Land Commission) properties, please contact our Delinquency area at 843-255-2600, or visit them at our Beaufort office located at 100 Ribaut Road, Suite 165, Beaufort, SC 29902.