enforce.tam.050918.001

The St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's Office will hold its annual tax sale on July 16.

The sale will begin at 10 a.m. at the St. Tammany Parish Justice Center, 701 N. Columbia St., in Covington. It is expected to include as many as 1,700 properties with delinquent taxes due to the parish and the municipalities of Slidell, Mandeville, Covington, Pearl River, Abita Springs and Madisonville.

Although debtors technically have until July 16 to pay 2017 tax bills, they are advised not to wait until then. Property tax bills for 2017 were mailed Nov. 3, 2017, and delinquent notices were mailed on Feb. 9 and again on April 27.

''Everyone who needs to make a payment should come into our office by Friday, July 13,” said Capt. Julie Teal of the Sheriffs' Office Property Tax Department. “On the day of the tax sale, our office is very busy.

"Once we begin reading the properties for a certain taxing district in the sale, we are unable to accept tax payments for properties located in that district, even if you are waiting in line.”

On July 16, hundreds of registered buyers will converge at the Justice Center to place liens against debtors who have not yet paid their property tax bills. Anyone can become a registered tax-sale buyer by filling out a short form and returning it to the Sheriff’s Office. Buyers can also register online for the tax sale at www.stpsopayments.com. Registration is free.

Delinquent tax bills range from about $100 to thousands of dollars.

Tax sale buyers are issued a bidding number, which can be picked up at a registration table the morning of July 16. Buyers are seated in a courtroom, where Sheriff’s Office officials read from a list of properties. Those interested in a property hold up their numbers, and a Sheriff’s Office employee scans the crowd to randomly select a potential buyer.

Tax sale buyers pay the tax that is due, interest, collection costs and fees incurred by the Sheriff’s Office. Tax sales are not final, however, on the date of the sale.

Debtors have a three-year period during which they can redeem their property with the Sheriff’s Office by paying all taxes, interest and fees owed at the time of redemption. The Sheriff’s Office in turn reimburses the tax sale buyer.

For additional information on taxes owed or the tax sale process, call the Sheriff’s Office at (985) 809-8217.