MERIDIAN — The Secretary of State’s Office recently received 183 bids to purchase 103 parcels of tax-forfeited properties in Meridian and Lauderdale County, effectively returning more than $62,000 to local property tax coffers.
Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann said, “Tax-forfeited properties are a blight on the community. Returning these properties to private taxpaying ownership also cleans up our neighborhoods and reduces the opportunity for crime.”
Of the tax-forfeited property successfully purchased by bid, the 62 parcels located inside the City of Meridian are valued at $369,180 and the 41 in Lauderdale County at almost $80,000. Winning bids for the city parcels total almost $43,000 and the county parcels will collect almost $20,000.
The tax-forfeited property was offered for purchase by the Secretary of State’s Office in cooperation with the City of Meridian and the Board of Supervisors for Lauderdale County. The 159 parcels had been advertised for bid since Feb. 28 and sealed offers were due by noon on March 21. With a total of 510 tax-forfeited parcels valued at $2.7 million, Lauderdale County is ranked seventh in the state for the number of tax-forfeited parcels.
Currently, the Secretary of State’s Office holds more than an estimated $66.2 million in property forfeited to the State of Mississippi for non-payment of ad valorem taxes. The Secretary of State’s Office began a marketing campaign in 2012 to return these properties to private taxpaying ownership.