Tax Forfeited Lands FAQs

This section presents the user with the most frequently asked questions and the appropriate responses relative to Tax Forfeited Lands.

Our Most Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How does a property become available for purchase?
  2. How do I obtain a listing of lands available for purchase in a particular county?
  3. Approximately how long does the process take?
  4. What are the major steps in the process?
  5. How is the value for the property determined?
  6. If I have any questions about the process, how do I contact your office?
  7. How do I obtain another copy of a land patent?

FAQ Answers

  1. How does a property become available for purchase?

    Answer:
    Every year each county chancery clerk sends the Secretary of State a list of property on which taxes have not been paid and the former owner has not redeemed by the statutory deadline. The properties on these lists are entered into the state's tax forfeited inventory and offered for sale.

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  2. How do I obtain a listing of lands available for purchase in a particular county?

    Answer:
    The Tax Forfeited Inventory​ link provides access to the properties available for sale or you may contact the Public Lands Division in the Secretary of State's Office at 601-359-5156 or toll free (in-state) at 1-866-TFLANDS(835-2637).

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  3. Approximately how long does the process take?

    Answer:
    The process normally takes about 60 to 90 days from receipt of the application to the issuance of the patent.

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  4. What are the major steps in the process?

    Answer:
    The applicant must first file an application with all of the necessary information complete and the filing fee included. The Secretary of State's Office then contacts the county tax assessor for a current market value of the property and makes an investigation of the title. Once the tax assessor value is received, a recommendation of the offer price is made to the Governor's Office. Upon receipt of the Governor's approval, an offer letter is sent to the applicant. If the purchase money is paid by the applicant, a patent (or deed) is prepared, signed by the Governor and the Secretary of State, and sent certified mail to the applicant for filing in the respective chancery clerk's office.

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  5. How is the value for the property determined?

    Answer:
    The county tax assessor certifies the current market value of the property. In some instances, the Public Lands Division may commission an independent appraisal of the current market value of the property. If such parcels are to be sold to the prior owner, or if it is blighted property, parcels are sold at the higher rate of (a) twenty-five percent (25%) of the market value, as determined by the Tax Assessor or independent appraisal, or (b) the total of back taxes and all fees, or (c) the applicant’s offer amount. A blighted property is one in which there is a dilapidated structure, environmental concerns, or a trash and rubbish area. All other parcels are sold at the higher of (a) fifty percent (50%) of market value as determined by the Tax Assessor, or independent appraisal, or (b) the total of back taxes and all fees, or (c) the applicant’s offer amount.

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  6. If I have any questions about the process, how do I contact your office?

    Answer:
    You may contact the Public Lands Division at 125 S. Congress Street Jackson, MS 39201; by telephone at (601) 359-5156 or toll free (in-state) at 1-866-TFLANDS(835-2637); by fax at (601) 359-1461; by mail at PO Box 136, Jackson, MS, 39205; or by email.

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  7. How do I obtain another copy of a land patent?

    Answer:
    Contact the Public Lands Division for copies of patent records. If you are the patentee, there will be a charge of $25.00 to issue a duplicate patent.

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If you have any questions or comments relative to these tax forfeited lands, please contact our office at:

Phone: (601) 359-5156
Voice: (601) 359-1350
In State Toll Free: (866) TFLANDS (866) 835-2637
Fax: (601) 359-1461

Leann Thompson
Assistant Secretary of State

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