Local governments—generally counties—impose property taxes on real estate pursuant to state law. Sometimes called ad valorem taxes, these property taxes are set based on the assessed value of the property. When a landowner does not pay their property tax, the law allows the county to foreclose on the property and sell it to another person.
The purpose of this sale is to make the county whole for the tax debt. In most states, if the property sells for more than the debt and there are excess proceeds, then the landowner receives the surplus after valid lienholders with priority are ...
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