Chief tax deputy Heather Sparks addresses commissioners Thursday. / Photo by Monica Zalaznik

Chief tax deputy: There’s still time to redeem delinquent properties but the window is shorter

BUCKHANNON – There were approximately 1,323 delinquent real estate taxes in Upshur County for 2021.

Chief Tax Deputy Heather Sparks delivered the final disposition of 2021 taxes during the Jan. 12 Upshur County Commission meeting. In 2022, the State of West Virginia took over the annual land sale, which caused several changes.

“I’m here today to present the delinquent real estate taxes — this was a different year for sure, we were scared and skeptical — but so far everything has started running smoothly,” Sparks said. “The land sale process for these taxes started in May last year, so in May of 2022, there were approximately 1,323 delinquent real estate taxes. We advertised this list in The Record Delta according to West Virginia State Code, which meant it only had to be published once at that time.”

Sparks said they typically have about six weeks to research properties and send out certified letters, but they were limited to three weeks due to the new system.

“We sent out close to 1,000 letters on Sept. 30 to property owners and lien holders before the certification to the state,” Sparks said. “We did have 961 of the 1,300 tax tickets redeemed and that totaled approximately $384,000, which redeemed just means they were paid prior to the certification.”

The tax office also suspended 63 gas royalties and 122 properties that were sold to the state in their sale last year.

“All of those together totaled about $2,300 and on Nov. 1 of this year, 177 properties totaling $56,000 in taxes approximately were certified to the state of West Virginia,” Sparks said. “The state will hold on to these properties until they have their land sale, which will be anytime between April first through July 1. They will run another publication list of remaining delinquent properties on March 1 of this year and they will also be sending out some certified letters to landowners and such.”

Sparks wanted to emphasize that people can redeem their properties and get them back.

“They cannot contact our office; they must contact the West Virginia State Auditor’s Office at 1-888-509-6568 and the State Auditor’s Office will let them know exactly what they have to do, the amount that has to be paid and such,” Sparks said.

The state will be arriving at courthouses across the state to conduct the land sales themselves between April 1, 2023, and July 1, 2023.

“After the land sale, purchasers have about 120 days to do the title search and get notifications to owners and then if the purchaser completes all those tasks, the current owners will only have roughly about 150 days to redeem their properties,” Sparks said. “It used to be 18 months, but now they have five months to get that done.”

Sparks also made a point to thank her tax deputies for all their hard work during this new process.

“I always want to take the opportunity to thank my tax deputies for their dedication and their hard work; as I said, we were skeptical, we were worried we didn’t have any idea how this new tax process was going to work, we just knew we had less time to do what we needed to get done,” Sparks said. “We got it done at the level we’ve always gotten it done, which was important to us, all of my tax deputies go above and beyond to make the tax office run as smoothly as possible.”



Consolidated board determines North Kanawha will remain a two-way street

BUCKHANNON – The Consolidated Public Works Board voted to keep North Kanawha Street a two-way street after previously considering making it a one-way road. The CPWB took up two previously discussed traffic items during their Jan. 26 meeting. The board […]

Become a premium member to unlock immediate access to this story — and thousands more. Free trial available! Signing up is easy — just tap the button below.

Barbour County man arrested for alleged sexual abuse of a juvenile in his care

BUCKHANNON — A Barbour County man who is listed on the West Virginia State Police’s Sex Offender Registry has been arrested for the alleged sexual abuse of a minor in his care. Kenneth D. Call, 52, of Belington, W.Va., was […]

Become a premium member to unlock immediate access to this story — and thousands more. Free trial available! Signing up is easy — just tap the button below.

Buckhannon: Then & Now – Big snow in Upshur County

Buckhannon: Then & Now. Join us in showcasing Upshur County throughout history and today. Much like today, Buckhannon has experienced major snow accumulations throughout history. Pictured here, Buckhannon received a record breaking accumulation of 40

County commission tasks new owner of Holly Apartments with cleaning up the site, will reevaluate in 90 days

BUCKHANNON – The Upshur County Commission has given the new owners of the Holly Apartments building in Adrian 90 days to clean up the property. The Holly Apartments were considered a total loss after a fire spread throughout the whole […]

Become a premium member to unlock immediate access to this story — and thousands more. Free trial available! Signing up is easy — just tap the button below.


Wesleyan lacrosse picked fifth in MEC preseason poll

BUCKHANNON, W.Va. – West Virginia Wesleyan women’s lacrosse has been selected to finish fifth in the Mountain East Conference, the league announced today. WVWC totaled nine points in the vote. Frostburg State and Notre Dame College tied

Swim Bucs head into Saturday’s conference championship meet coming off strong final performance at home

BUCKHANNON — The Buckhannon-Upshur High School boys and girls swim teams will head into the Big 10 Conference Championships on Saturday with the current at their backs after winning 10 events in their final home meet of the season. The […]

Become a premium member to unlock immediate access to this story — and thousands more. Free trial available! Signing up is easy — just tap the button below.

Owens steps down as head coach of Lady Bobcat soccer program

BUCKHANNON, W.Va. – Richard Owens has resigned as head coach of the West Virginia Wesleyan women’s soccer program, WVWC Athletic Department announced on Thursday. Owens spent five seasons as head coach of the Lady Bobcats,


Canaan Valley Resort to ski clinic for women Feb. 25-26

Davis, W.Va. (January 2023) – Offering more than seven hours of group and personalized ski instruction in a fun and supportive environment, Canaan Valley Resort will host a ski clinic for women by women February

Winter Blues Farmers Market returns Feb. 25

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Winter Blues is back! The indoor farmers market makes its return on Saturday, February 25. More than 60 vendors from across West Virginia will be on hand to sell products grown and