Pickens County Government and Property Taxes”
Pickens County Property Taxes and Sales
1. Are people losing their properties due to property tax increase in Pickens County?
2. Are Pickens County Officials/Employees bidding/buying these properties at the Delinquent Tax Auction?
Pickens County is not responsible for loss of property due to tax increases, nor do county officials or employees buy delinquent properties at auction.
While other taxing jurisdictions, such as the school board and municipalities, have increased taxes, no property taxes have increased in Pickens County in over a decade. During that period, Pickens County has only increased fire fees in the Pickens and Pumpkintown Rural Fire Districts (the 2015 and 2016 total tax and fire fee amounts are attached to this document for further reference).
Pickens County has over 68,000 taxed parcels throughout the entire county. Of those parcels, there was a combined total of 356 delinquent parcels in 2014. In the 2015 tax sale that followed, only 65 parcels were ultimately deeded away from the defaulting taxpayers. Mathematically, this is less than one tenth of one percent of the total number of parcels in Pickens County. Only three of these parcels were residential properties. Of the three residential properties, one residence burned down in 2014, the second was abandoned, and the last residence was not paid for by the estate after the owner passed away. Essentially, no one in Pickens County lost their home due to taxes.
Each year, a tax sale is held to auction off delinquent parcels to the highest bidder. While there is no law stating county employees are prohibited from bidding or buying delinquent properties, it is Pickens County Government’s policy that no employee shall be included in the bidding and sale of delinquent properties. In the interest of transparency, Pickens County Delinquent Tax Office records bidder/buyer information of each parcel sold at auction. Copies of bidder information are available to the public under the Freedom of Information Act.
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