Tax certificate bill advances

A bill that would change the process of purchasing tax deeds advanced from select file Feb. 15.

LB370, introduced by Lexington Sen. John Wightman, would eliminate the ability of county treasurers to issue tax deeds without a public sale. The ability to begin foreclosure of the tax certificate to gain ownership would not be affected.

Wightman introduced an amendment that he said addressed concerns raised by several senators on general file about the current notification procedure.

“I listened to discussion before and came up with this amendment,” Wightman said. “This represents a compromise.”

The amendment, adopted on a 30-0 vote, would ensure property owners have enough time and information to address past-due taxes. Before a tax deed could be purchased, the county government must:
• provide notification to the property owner on the status of his or her property and the procedure to rectify the situation;
• deliver notification in-person either by county sheriff or an authorized process server; and
• allow property owners an additional 45 days to pay a past-due tax bill.

Senators advanced the bill to final reading by voice vote.

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