Public Lands | Frequently Asked Questions

This section presents the user with the most frequently asked questions and the appropriate responses relative to Tax Forfeited Lands.


Our Most Frequently Asked Questions:

  1. How does a property become available for purchase?
  2. How do I obtain a listing of lands available for purchase in a particular county?
  3. Approximately how long does the process take?
  4. What are the major steps in the process?
  5. How is the value for the property determined?
  6. If I have any questions about the process, how do I contact your office?
  7. How do I obtain another copy of a land patent?



Answers to our most Frequently Asked Questions:

1. How does a property become available for purchase?

Answer:
Every year each county chancery clerk sends the Secretary of State a list of property on which taxes have not been paid and the former owner has not redeemed by the statutory deadline. The properties on these lists are entered into the state's tax forfeited inventory and offered for sale.

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2. How do I obtain a listing of lands available for purchase in a particular county?

Answer:
This web page provides access to the properties available for sale or you may contact the Public Lands Division in the Secretary of State's Office. (?List of Parcels by County)

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3. Approximately how long does the process take?

Answer:
The process normally takes about 90 to 120 days from receipt of the application to the issuance of the patent.

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4. What are the major steps in the process?

Answer:
The applicant must first file an application with all of the necessary information complete and the filing fee included. The Secretary of State's Office then contacts the county tax assessor for a current market value of the property and makes an investigation of the title. Once the tax assessor value is received, a recommendation of the offer price is made to the Governor's Office. Upon receipt of the Governor's approval, an offer letter is sent to the applicant. If the purchase money is paid by the applicant, a patent (or deed) is prepared, signed by the Governor and the Secretary of State, and sent to the applicant for filing in the chancery clerk's office.

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5. How is the value for the property determined?

Answer:
The county tax assessor certifies the current market value of the property. In some instances, the Public Lands Division may commission an independent appraisal of the current market value of the property. The purchase price is then normally set at 50% of the market value or the amount of back taxes owed on the property, whichever is greater.

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6. If I have any questions about the process, how do I contact your office?

Answer:
You may contact the Public Lands Division by telephone at (601) 359-6373; by fax at (601) 359-1461; by mail at Post Office Box 136, Jackson, MS, 39205; or by E-mail at the address on this web page.

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7. How do I obtain another copy of a land patent?

Answer:
Contact the Public Lands Division for copies of patent records. If you are the patentee, there will be a charge of $25.00 to issue a duplicate patent.

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If you have any questions or comments relative to these tax forfeited lands, please contact our office at

Phone: (601) 359-6373
Voice: (601) 359-1350
In State Toll Free: (866) TFLANDS (866) 835-2637
Fax: (601) 359-1461
E-mail: publiclands@sos.state.ms.us

Gerald McWhorter
Assistant Secretary of State
Director of the Public Lands Division


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