If I pay the taxes, do I own the land? By S. Craig Panter

Paying Property Taxes

Property Taxes

As we all know, in Mississippi, a landowner must pay property taxes each year. Yet, there are times when someone else is paying the taxes instead of the owner.

For example, someone may pay the taxes to help out a family member. Or, someone who is renting the land may pay the taxes so that the land is not sold at a tax sale.

Many times I see this question: If I paid the taxes, do I now own the land?

The answer is simple – – no.

In Mississippi, paying the property taxes on someone else’s land does not affect ownership in any manner. You simply cannot obtain title to someone’s land by paying their taxes for them.

What about tax sales?

Tax sales are different. Here, we are talking about a situation in which the county sells off land for delinquent taxes.

In this situation, someone can pay the back taxes to the county and buy the property.

The owner (or someone else who has an interest in the land, such as a mortgage company) can redeem the land (i.e., return title to the original owner) within two years by paying back the buyer with interest.

If the land is not redeemed in two years, there is a statutory process the buyer can go through to confirm his title.

Panter Law Firm, PLLC, 7736 Old Canton Road, Suite B, Madison, MS 39110.



Craig Painter