5721.31 Selecting parcels for tax certificate sales.

(A)

(1) After receipt of a duplicate of the delinquent land list compiled under section 5721.011 of the Revised Code, or a delinquent land list compiled previously under that section, the county treasurer may select from the list parcels of delinquent land the lien against which the county treasurer may attempt to transfer by the sale of tax certificates under sections 5721.30 to 5721.43 of the Revised Code. None of the following parcels may be selected for a tax certificate sale:

(a) A parcel for which the full amount of taxes, assessments, penalties, interest, and charges have been paid;

(b) A parcel for which a valid contract under section 323.122 , 323.31 , or 5713.20 of the Revised Code is in force;

(c) A parcel the owner of which has filed a petition in bankruptcy, so long as the parcel is property of the bankruptcy estate.

(2) The county treasurer shall compile a separate list of parcels selected for tax certificate sales, including the same information as is required to be included in the delinquent land list.

Upon compiling the list of parcels selected for tax certificate sales, the county treasurer may conduct a title search for any parcel on the list.

(B)

(1) Except as otherwise provided in division (B)(3) of this section, when tax certificates are to be sold under section 5721.32 of the Revised Code with respect to parcels, the county treasurer shall send written notice by certified mail to either the owner of record or all interested parties discoverable through a title search, or both, of each parcel on the list. A notice to an owner shall be sent to the owner's last known tax-mailing address. The notice shall inform the owner or interested parties that a tax certificate will be offered for sale on the parcel, and that the owner or interested parties may incur additional expenses as a result of the sale.

(2) Except as otherwise provided in division (B)(3) of this section, when tax certificates are to be sold or transferred under section 5721.33 of the Revised Code with respect to parcels, the county treasurer, at least thirty days prior to the date of sale or transfer of such tax certificates, shall send written notice of the sale or transfer by certified mail to the last known tax-mailing address of the record owner of the property or parcel and may send such notice to all parties with an interest in the property that has been recorded in the property records of the county pursuant to section 317.08 of the Revised Code. The notice shall state that a tax certificate will be offered for sale or transfer on the parcel, and that the owner or interested parties may incur additional expenses as a result of the sale or transfer.

(3) The county treasurer is not required to send a notice under division (B)(1) or (B)(2) of this section if the treasurer previously has attempted to send such notice to the owner of the parcel and the notice has been returned by the post office as undeliverable. The absence of a valid tax-mailing address for the owner of a parcel does not preclude the county treasurer from selling or transferring a tax certificate for the parcel.

(C) The county treasurer shall advertise the sale of tax certificates under section 5721.32 of the Revised Code in a newspaper of general circulation in the county once a week for two consecutive weeks. The newspaper shall meet the requirements of section 7.12 of the Revised Code. The advertisement shall include the date, the time, and the place of the public auction, abbreviated legal descriptions of the parcels, and the names of the owners of record of the parcels. The advertisement also shall include the certificate purchase prices of the parcels or the total purchase price of tax certificates for sale in blocks of tax certificates.

(D) After the county treasurer has compiled the list of parcels selected for tax certificate sales but before a tax certificate respecting a parcel is sold or transferred, if the owner of record of the parcel pays to the county treasurer in cash the delinquent taxes respecting the parcel or otherwise acts so that any condition in division (A)(1)(a), (b), or (c) of this section applies to the parcel, the owner of record of the parcel also shall pay a fee in an amount prescribed by the treasurer to cover the administrative costs of the treasurer under this section respecting the parcel. The fee shall be deposited in the county treasury to the credit of the tax certificate administration fund.

(E) A tax certificate administration fund shall be created in the county treasury of each county selling tax certificates under sections 5721.30 to 5721.43 of the Revised Code. The fund shall be administered by the county treasurer, and used solely for the purposes of sections 5721.30 to 5721.43 of the Revised Code or as otherwise permitted in this division. Any fee received by the treasurer under sections 5721.30 to 5721.43 of the Revised Code shall be credited to the fund, except the bidder registration fee under division (B) of section 5721.32 of the Revised Code and the county prosecuting attorney's fee under division (B)(3) of section 5721.37 of the Revised Code. To the extent there is a surplus in the fund from time to time, the surplus may, with the approval of the county treasurer, be utilized for the purposes of a county land reutilization corporation operating in the county.

(F) The county treasurers of more than one county may jointly conduct a regional sale of tax certificates under section 5721.32 of the Revised Code. A regional sale shall be held at a single location in one county, where the tax certificates from each of the participating counties shall be offered for sale at public auction. Before the regional sale, each county treasurer shall advertise the sale for the parcels in the treasurer's county as required by division (C) of this section. At the regional sale, tax certificates shall be sold on parcels from one county at a time, with all of the certificates for one county offered for sale before any certificates for the next county are offered for sale.

(G) The tax commissioner shall prescribe the form of the tax certificate under this section, and county treasurers shall use the form so prescribed.

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.28, HB 153, §101.01, eff. 9/29/2011.

Effective Date: 06-15-2004; 2008 HB562 09-22-2008; 2008 SB353 04-07-2009