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CONTACT: Lea Anne Brandon, (601) 359-6346

MEDIA ADVISORY: Bids to be opened by Secretary of State for purchase of Tax Forfeited Properties

Jackson, MS-The Secretary of State's Office will open bids on Thursday, March 21, at 1 p.m. for the purchase of 159 parcels of tax forfeited properties marketed for public bid in Meridian and Lauderdale County.

With a combined estimated value of about $586,000, the Meridian/Lauderdale County properties have been advertised for public bid since February 28, 2013.

"Tax forfeited properties are a blight on the community. Returning these properties to private ownership cleans up our neighborhoods and reduces the opportunity for crime," said Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann.

The goal of the Secretary of State's Office is to work with local governments to determine which properties may be marketed for private ownership, and which properties could be transferred to local governments for public use. Returning these lands to private ownership puts them back on the local tax rolls, generating much needed revenue for our local governments.

For the Meridian/Lauderdale properties, sealed bids must be received in the office of the Secretary of State by noon on Thursday. Bids will be opened and read aloud beginning at 1:00 p.m. by the Public Lands Division at 700 North Street in Jackson. (ALL MEDIA are invited to bid opening. Second floor conference room. )
To learn more on obtaining tax forfeited properties or to view the Meridian/Lauderdale County parcels offered for bid, please visit the Secretary of State's website at:

Background Information:

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 an aggressive marketing campaign in 2012 to return these properties to private ownership, beginning with the city of Greenville. Of the 80 parcels of tax forfeited properties marketed in Greenville, the Secretary of State's Office received 87 bids on 52 parcels. These bids were in addition to 23 parcels previously under contract with churches and 22 parcels purchased directly by an individual outside of the properties put up for bid.
Successful bidders will be notified by the Secretary of State's Office. Payment of the bid amount must be made within 15 days of notification. All sales are subject to the approval of the Governor. Parcels are sold on an "as is" basis. All sales are final, and no refunds will be made. No more than 160 acres may be purchased by one person within one year.