Senate Bill No. 597
(By Senator Sypolt)
[Introduced February 21, 2011; referred to the Committee on the Judiciary.]
A BILL to amend and reenact §11-10-13c and §11-10-13f of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, all relating to notice and removal of personal property from real property after a tax sale.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §11-10-13c and §11-10-13f of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted, all to read as follows:
ARTICLE 10. WEST VIRGINIA TAX PROCEDURE AND ADMINISTRATION ACT.
§11-10-13c. Sale of seized property; notice of removal.
(a) Notice of seizure. -- As soon as practicable after seizure of property, notice in writing shall be given by the Tax Commissioner to the owner of the property (or, in the case of personal property, the possessor thereof), or shall be left at his or her usual place of abode or business if he or she has such within the county where the seizure is made. If the owner cannot be readily located, or has no dwelling or place of business within such county, the notice may be mailed to his or her last known address. Such notice shall specify the sum demanded and shall contain, in the case of personal property, an account of the property seized and, in the case of real property, a description with reasonable certainty of the property seized.
(b) Notice of sale. -- The Tax Commissioner may sell any property seized under section thirteen of this article. As soon as practicable after the seizure of the property, the Tax Commissioner shall give notice to the owner, in the manner prescribed in subsection (a), and shall cause a notice of sale to be published as a Class II legal advertisement in some newspaper published or generally circulated within the county wherein such seizure is made, or the county where the property is located, the last date of publication being not less than five days prior to sale. This notice shall identify the property to be sold, and the date, time, place, manner and conditions of the sale thereof, all of which shall be at the discretion of the Tax Commissioner. The sale shall be conducted by public auction, or by public sale under sealed bids. Before the sale, the Tax Commissioner may determine a minimum price for which the property shall be sold, and if no person offers for such property at the sale, the amount of the minimum price, the property shall be declared to be purchased at such price for the State of West Virginia; otherwise the property shall be declared to be sold to the highest bidder. In determining the minimum price, the Tax Commissioner shall take into account the expense of making the levy and sale.
(c) Sale of indivisible property. -- If any property liable to levy is not divisible, so as to enable the Tax Commissioner by sale of a part thereof to raise the whole amount of the tax and expense of making the levy and sale, the whole of such property shall be sold. However, where the property sold is coowned or jointly-owned by the taxpayer and an innocent third party, the proceeds of sale shall be divided, based on the respective interests of the persons owning the property immediately prior to the levy and sale, and the proceeds attributable to the interest of the innocent owner or owners shall be distributed to them: Provided, That where the property to be sold is so coowned or jointly-owned by an innocent third party, having no delinquent tax liability attempted to be collected under such levy and sale, such innocent party may petition the circuit court of the county in which the property is located for relief, including postponement of the sale, in order that the court can determine if the property can be partitioned, so as to avoid sale of the innocent party's portion or grant and afford other relief by the court protective of the rights and interests of such innocent party.
(d) Notice of removal of personal property. -- As soon as practicable after the seizure of real property, the Tax Commissioner shall give notice to the owner of personal property left on the real property, if known, in the manner prescribed in subsection (a), and shall cause a notice of removal to be published as a Class II legal advertisement in some newspaper published or generally circulated within the county wherein such seizure is made, or the county where the real property is located, the last date of publication being not less than five days prior to sale. This notice shall identify the property to be sold, the personal property left on the real property and the date, time, place, manner and conditions of the sale of the real property, all of which shall be at the discretion of the Tax Commissioner.
§11-10-13f. Certificate of sale; deed to real property; removal of personal property.
(a) Certificate of sale. -- In the case of property sold as provided in section thirteen-c the Tax Commissioner shall provide to the purchaser a certificate of sale upon payment in full of the purchase price. In the case of real property, such certificate shall set forth the real property purchased, for whose taxes the same was sold, the name of the purchaser and the price paid therefor.
(b) Deed to real property. -- In the case of any real property sold as provided in section thirteen-c and not redeemed in the manner and within the time provided in section thirteen-e, the Tax Commissioner shall execute, in accordance with the laws of this state pertaining to sales of real property under execution, to the purchaser of such real property at such sale, upon his or her surrender of the certificate of sale, a deed to the real property so purchased by him or her reciting the facts set forth in the certificate.
(c) Real property purchased by the state. -- If real property is declared purchased by the State of West Virginia at a sale pursuant to section thirteen-c, the Tax Commissioner shall, at the proper time, execute a deed therefor, and without delay cause such deed to be duly recorded in the office of the clerk of the county in which the real property is located.
(d) Removal of personal property. -- Thirty days after real property has been sold by the procedures of this article, any piece of personal property not sold at auction can be legally disposed of by the new owner of the real property. Any expenditure made by the owner of real property for the removal of personal property from the premises will be the liability of the owner of the personal property at law.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to create notification and disposal procedures for personal property attached real property after a tax sale has taken place.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.