A Tax Sale is a public auction conducted annually by the Sheriff wherein properties with unpaid taxes are sold to satisfy the tax debt. By State law the Sheriff must conduct the tax sale to collect the balance of the current year taxes owed to Caddo Parish governmental entities. Click here for a graph depicting the average distribution of tax funds. Tax Sale is conducted online at www.civicsource.com the first week of June.
During a Tax Sale, immovable property is sold to individuals who participate in the tax sale for the amount of the unpaid balance of taxes owed, accrued interest, penalties and cost to advertise and record the sale. Individuals who participate in the Tax Sale are referred to as Tax Buyers. The property is sold to the Tax Buyer who bids the least ownership interest in the property and will pay the full amount of the unpaid taxes.
Prior to the tax sale the list of delinquent tax accounts are advertised in the newspaper that was adopted by the Caddo Parish Commission as the "Official Journal of the Parish".
After purchasing a property at the Tax Sale, the Tax Sale Buyer receives a Tax Sale Certificate (Tax Deed) from the Sheriff which transfers certain ownership rights and interest in the property, subject to the redemption rights of the original owner. The Tax Buyer also acquires the tax assessment rights of the original owner. The Tax Assessor’s Office is required to change the name and address on the property tax account and will continue to assess the property in the Tax Buyers name until the property is redeemed by the original owner, the Tax Buyer files suit to quiet the title to property in favor of the buyer, or the Tax Buyer fails to pay taxes in the future and the property is sold at a future tax sale.
The original owner of property sold at tax sale has three (3) years to “redeem” the property from the date the Tax Sale Certificate is recorded in the Clerk of Court’s Office. During the three year time period the property can be redeemed by contacting the Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office Tax Department and requesting a redemption amount. A redemption amount will be calculated and provided to the original owner. The redemption amount will include a redemption fee, a tax sale fee, interest due to the Tax Buyer, the base taxes and monthly interest. Upon payment of the redemption amount the Tax Buyer is reimbursed by the Sheriff and Certificate of Redemption is recorded in the Clerk of Court’s Office. A copy of the Certificate of Redemption is mailed to the original owner with a notice that the owner must re-file for Homestead Exemption. The Tax Assessor’s Office will then normally change the assessment of the property back into the original owner’s name and address.
NOTICE: This answer to “What is a Tax Sale” is an oversimplification of the process that actually takes place in a tax sale and the effect on ownership of property after it is sold. The explanation is general in nature and is not intended to be interpreted or construed in any manner to be a legal opinion, legal advice, legally correct or reflect the actual legal rights of property owners or tax buyers or their authorized representatives. For specific information related to immovable property and tax sales you should refer to the appropriate laws of the United States of America and State of Louisiana related to property ownership and tax sales as well as seek the legal advice of an attorney.