County board sets guidelines for funds from tax-forfeited property

The Washington County Board of Commissioners set guidelines Sept. 8 for distributing funds from the sale of tax-forfeited lands.

State law allows the County Board to set aside up to 20 percent of the net proceeds from the sale of tax-forfeited property for the acquisition and maintenance of county parks or recreational areas. The law requires the County Board to approve the set aside of these funds on an annual basis.

The ownership of property that forfeits because of the non-payment of property taxes rests with the state and the counties are given the task of managing and disposing of the property. When a tax-forfeited property is sold to a governmental agency or the public, the proceeds are deposited into the county’s tax-forfeited sale fund.

As established by state law, 20 percent of the funds go to the county for acquisition and maintenance of county parks and recreational areas. Of the remaining funds, 40 percent is distributed to the county general fund, 40 percent to the school district in which the land is located, and 20 percent to the city or township.

The financial implications for the county vary by year depending on the amount of sale proceeds from tax forfeited land and maintenance costs.


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