On Wednesday, the South Carolina Governor signed House Bill 3755 into law. The bill amends sections of the insurance code regarding automobile insurance coverage, but also includes a provision extending the statutory one-year redemption period for 2019 tax sales by another year:
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, if real property was sold at a delinquent tax sale in 2019 and the twelve month redemption period has not expired as of the effective date of this section, then the redemption period for the real property is extended for twelve additional months. If the property is redeemed during the twelve month extension, additional interest shall accrue in the same manner and rate as interest accrues in the original redemption period, as set forth in Section 12-51-90(B). The provisions of Chapter 51, Title 12 of the 1976 Code, must be administered to account for the additional twelve months, mutatis mutandis including, but not limited to, the extension of affected deadlines.
This provision potentially impacts tax sale investors who purchased property at local county tax sales nearly a year ago. At the time of the sale, investors may not have been able to consider carrying costs and other expenses associated with waiting an additional year before receiving their tax deed. The bill makes no provision for whether the interest cap of S.C. Code Ann. § 12-51-90(B) will apply to the additional interest, or which party will be responsible for payment of the additional year of property taxes. Tax sale investors concerned about the impact of this legislation should contact an attorney to determine whether they have legal grounds to challenge this act before it impacts their investment portfolio.