Various tax sale matters

The House Judiciary Committee heard SB 531 concerning various tax sale matters sponsored by Rep. Price. Author Sen. Head explained that it amends the tax sale statute to reflect current caselaw and makes procedural changes to make the process more efficient.  Regarding the procedural changes, the bill provides that:

  • a purchaser of real property by an installment land contract may request notice of the tax sale list;
  • adds an alternative provision for a county executive to transfer a tax sale property to a nonprofit entity, and for purposes of these provisions, defines the “county executive” of Marion County to mean the board of commissioners (consisting of the county auditor, county treasurer, and county assessor);
  • a county treasurer may use money held on a person’s behalf in the tax sale surplus fund to pay property taxes and special assessments that become due during the tax sale redemption period;
  • a court may consider a petition for a tax deed without conducting a hearing if there are not any written objections filed;
  • the amount required for redemption of property includes all taxes, assessments, interest, and penalties that are delinquent after the sale; and,
  • a political subdivision may conduct an electronic auction of surplus real property held by the political subdivision.

The bill also repeals the following:

  • a provision authorizing a county to adopt an ordinance allowing a county auditor to accept a bid that is less than the minimum bid normally required by the tax sale statute;
  • a provision requiring the State Board of Accounts to specify a form of tax deed to use when a grantee other than a purchaser takes the tax deed;
  • several provisions that specify what action to take if the tax deed is ineffectual to convey title to tax sale property;
  • a provision specifying how a grantee of a tax deed recovers money owed to the grantee in the context of an action to quiet title filed by the grantee; and,
  • an obsolete provision that allowed a county to adopt an ordinance requiring the county treasurer to waive certain penalties and interest on delinquent property taxes.

The bill also makes additional conforming changes. Testimony was received supporting the bill by a representative from Synergistic Resources Integration, a company that conducts tax sales throughout the state, who explained several provisions of the bill.  The bill passed 8-0.

Read the bill at http://iga.in.gov/legislative/2015/bills/senate/532.