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Summary: Generally, the court may order each parcel delinquent in property tax to be sold, without appraisal, for not less than either of the following: (1) The fair market value of the parcel, as determined by the county auditor, plus the costs incurred in the foreclosure proceeding;(2) The total amount of the finding entered by the court, including all taxes, assessments, charges, penalties, and interest (Sec. 5721.19). Every tract of land and town lot, that has been advertised and offered for sale on two separate occasions, not less than two weeks apart, and not sold for want of bidders, shall be forfeited to the state. (Sec. 5723.01) The county auditor shall maintain a list of forfeited lands and shall offer such lands for sale annually, or more frequently if the auditor determines that more frequent sales are necessary. (Sec. 5723.04).

Counties having a population of at least 200,000, may collect delinquent taxes by selling tax lien certificates at public auction (Sec. 5721.31). Upon the sale and delivery of a tax certificate, such tax certificate vests in the certificate holder the first lien previously held by the state and its taxing districts under section 5721.10 of the Revised Code for the amount of taxes, assessments, interest, and penalty charged against a certificate parcel,
superior to all other liens and encumbrances upon the parcel described in the tax certificate, in the amount of the certificate redemption price, except liens for delinquent taxes, assessments, penalties, interest, charges, and costs that attached to the certificate parcel prior to the attachment of the lien being conveyed by the sale of such tax certificate. (Sec. 5721.35). A county treasurer may, in the treasurer’s discretion, negotiate the sale of any number of tax certificates with one or more persons, (Sec. 5721.33). Counties eligible to sell certificates include Butler, Cuyahoga, Franklin, Hamilton, Lake, Loraine, Lucas, Mahoning, Montgomery, Stark, Summit, and Trumbull counties.

Law: Ohio Revised Code, Title 57, Chapter 5721, “Delinquent Lands,” and Chapter 5723, “Forfeited Lands.”
Contact: The County Treasurer. (Sec. 5721.31). In all proceedings relating to delinquent and forfeited lands and the certification and sale thereof, the county auditor shall act as the agent of the state (Sec. 5721.09). The county treasurer shall compile a separate list, the list of parcels selected for tax certificate sales (Sec. 5721.31).
Interest Rate: Not applicable for tax deed sales (Sec. 5721.25). For sales of tax certificates, the maximum interest rate is 18% per annum simple interest (Sec. 5721.32 (C)).
Auction Type: Tax Deed Sale (Sec. 5721.19) or Tax Lien Certificate (Sec. 5721.31), depending on the county population and discretion.
Bidding Procedure: Premium bid / highest bid. (Sec. 5721.19). The county treasurer, designee, or agent shall award the tax certificate to the person bidding the lowest certificate rate of interest. (Sec. 5721.32). Bids are placed in even increments of one-fourth of one per cent to the rate of zero per cent.

Costs: Costs included in the minimum bid amount for sales of foreclosed property include amount of the taxes, assessments, charges, penalties, and interest, and the costs incurred in the foreclosure proceeding instituted against it, which are due and unpaid (Sec. 5721.19). The treasurer shall set the fee at a reasonable amount that covers the treasurer’s costs of administering the sale of the tax certificate (Sec. 5721.32).

Redemption Period: There is no right to redeem foreclosed property (tax deeds) that is sold at a tax sale (Sec.5721.25). At any time prior to payment to the county treasurer by the certificate holder to initiate foreclosure proceedings under division (B) of section 5721.37 of the Revised Code, the owner of record of the certificate parcel, or any other person entitled to redeem that parcel, may redeem the parcel by paying to the county treasurer an amount equal to the total of the certificate redemption prices of all tax certificates respecting that parcel plus the sum of taxes, assessments, penalties, charges, and interest charged against the parcel that have become due and payable since the date the last certificate was sold (Sec. 5721.38). At any time after one year from the date shown on the tax certificate as the date the tax certificate was sold, and not later than three years after that date, the certificate holder may file with the county treasurer a request for foreclosure on a form prescribed by the tax commissioner and provided by the county treasurer (Sec. 5721.37).

Deed Assigned at Foreclosure to: Tax sale purchaser (Sec. 5721.19) or certificate holder (Sec. 5721.37), as applicable.

Notes: Tax Lien Certificate Sales: According to (Sec. 5721.31 New Window) ‘Counties having a population of at least 200,000, may collect delinquent taxes by selling tax lien certificates at public auction’.

Ohio Contacts
number of Counties: 88

Allen County
P.O. Box 1243
Delinquent Property Tax Division
Lima, OH 45802-1243
Phone: (419) 228-3700

Ashtabula County
25 West Jefferson Street
Delinquent Property Tax Division
Jefferson, OH 44047-1027
Phone: (440) 576-3750

Butler County
315 High Street
Delinquent Property Tax Division
Hamilton, OH 45011-6056
Phone: (513) 887-3247

Clermont County
101 East Main Street
Delinquent Property Tax Division
Batavia, OH 45103-2949
Phone: (513) 732-7300

Cuyahoga County
1219 Ontario Street
Delinquent Property Tax Division
Cleveland, OH 44113-1603
Phone: (216) 443-7000

Franklin County
373 South High Street, 26th Floor
Delinquent Property Tax Division
Columbus, OH 43215-4591
Phone: (614) 462-3322

Hamilton County
138 East Court Street, Room 603
Delinquent Property Tax Division
Cincinnati, OH 45202-1226
Phone: (513) 946-4400

Licking County
20 South Second Street
Delinquent Property Tax Division
Newark, OH 43055-5663

Montgomery County
451 West Third Street
Delinquent Property Tax Division
Dayton, OH 45422-0001
Phone: (937) 225-4690

Stark County
110 Central Plaza South, Suite 250
Delinquent Property Tax Division
Canton, OH 44702-1410
Phone: (330) 451-7371