COMMISSIONER OF STATE LANDS
Tommy Land and his family moved to Heber Springs during his teenage years. He graduated from Heber Springs High School and soon after married his wife, Judy, in 1977. They raised their two children on a small family cattle farm during his 30-year career with Southwestern Bell (now AT&T).
After retiring in 2006, Tommy established Heber Springs Communications, a small telecommunications business. In 2018, he was elected to his first term in office. Commissioner Land now devotes his full attention to his duties as Commissioner of State Lands.
“I have been involved in serving people in different ways most of my adult life, and the Commissioner of State Lands office serves the people of Arkansas,” Commissioner Land said. “I can think of no greater honor than serving the citizens of Arkansas and giving back to a place that has given my family so much.”
As Commissioner of State Lands, he is chair of the Arkansas Natural Resources Committee, a member of the National Association of State Trust Lands, the Arkansas Levee Task Force, and the Arkansas Natural and Cultural Resources Council. His staff of forty takes pride in hard work and attention to detail.
Commissioner Land welcomes you to visit his Capitol office for a tour of our historical division’s displays. If you would like to schedule Commissioner Land to speak at your function or attend an event, please contact our office’s Public Affairs department at email@example.com.
The Real Estate Division of the Commissioner of State Lands is located in 1020 W. 4th Street, in Little Rock (on the corner of 4th & Ringo Streets). This Division processes the payment of delinquent property taxes. If you have unpaid taxes certified to the State of Arkansas, you may call the Real Estate Division at 501-324-9422 | Fax: 501-324-9424, or visit our office, to request a Petition To Redeem - a legal document noting the amount of taxes, penalties and interest due on delinquent property. The petition must be signed and returned to the State Land Office with proper payment.
To learn more about redeeming tax delinquent property, please review the Delinquent Taxes brochure. If you believe you have delinquent property certified to the state, you may request a Petition to Redeem on this web site. You will need the properties’ parcel number, which is located on your real property tax bill.
The Real Estate Division also researches tax delinquent land titles to notify owners and interested parties that land has been scheduled for sale. This division conducts public auctions of tax delinquent property and processes offers to purchase on negotiated sales. To request information on land sales, including post auction sales lists for a particular county, please contact the Real Estate Division at 501-324-9422 | Fax: 501-324-9424. You can view and download the public auction catalog as well as post auction sales lists on this web site.
The Real Estate Division also processes requests for patent information, and houses the county certification books.
REAL ESTATE DIVISION
** NOTICE **
**Beginning July 1, 2021, the Commissioner of State Lands will transition to an on-line auction system for purchasing post auction sale property. In order to make this transition, the last day that offer to purchase forms may be requested is April 30, 2021. This will allow our staff time to process all offers received under the current process. Please check back for information on how the on-line auction system will work.**
Public Auction Catalog
View parcels that will be offered at public auction in the current or coming year.
Research Tax Delinquent Lands
State of Arkansas
Commissioner of State Lands
MINERAL LEASING ON STATE OWNED LANDS
Act 509 of 1993 gave the Commissioner of State Lands office responsibility for the leasing and permitting of minerals on state owned lands. The leasing process begins when a company applies to our office for either a permit for sand and gravel removal or a lease for oil and gas. From there we research the parcel to insure it is on state owned land and that the agency that owns it approves of the application. The Commissioner then contacts the Natural Resources Committee who, alongside the Commissioner, approves or denies the applications and set any terms and conditions as well as the minimum bid amounts for prospective companies.
This committee consists of nine (9) members including the Commissioner of State Lands who presides as Committee Chairman: the Secretary of the Department of Finance and Administration, the Director of Production and Conservations of the Oil and Gas Commission, the State Geologist, the Secretary of the Department of Agriculture, the Executive Secretary of the Arkansas State Game and Fish Commission, the Secretary of the Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism, the Director of the Department of Environmental Quality and the Chair of the Natural Heritage Commission. If the committee approves the application it then goes out to bid by being published in the local and state newspapers and after twenty (20) days all bids that have been received are opened and read aloud at the Commissioner of State Lands office. The bid that meets the requirements and is in the best interest of the State is declared the winning bid and the company is notified. A company who holds a lease on state owned land and is operating on that lease must submit a monthly report along with the royalty check to the Commissioner of State Lands office.
The funds that the Commissioner collects are then sent to the State Treasury and from there are disbursed to the appropriate agency. In 2019 we received over $540,000 dollars in royalties that were turned over to the appropriate agencies and used to improve their services to the State.
Current applications that are available for bid can be found below. Arkansas statutes applicable to mineral leasing on state owned lands can be found here “Mineral Leasing Statutes” . If you would like more information on leasing minerals on state owned lands or would like to request a bid packet for a current application, please contact our Mineral Leasing Division at 501-534-5243 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
CURRENT APPLICATIONS AVAILABLE FOR BID
The auction catalog consisting of parcels listing that will be offered at public auction during the current year. You can view and print parcel listing and can also export listings to Microsoft © Excel.
Post Auction Sales Lists contain parcels that have previously been offered at public auction but did not sell. These parcels are available for sale from the Commissioner of State Lands office through a post auction sale process.
Excess Proceeds are funds collected through the sales of tax delinquent properties in Arkansas. These funds consist of the amount of money collected over the amount of taxes, penalties and interest due at the time of sale. These funds are held 4 years, by the Commissioner of State Lands, and are collectible by the original record owner of the property beginning one year after the sale date. If the funds are not collected during the time period pertaining to the specific parcel then they are returned to the county in which the property resides.
County reports include monthly redemption and sales reports, tax turnback reports, excess proceed turnback reports and recording fee reports
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q: What kind of sales do you hold?
A: We conduct public auctions of lands that were forfeited to the state for non-payment of real property taxes. They are held once a year in the county where the property is located.
Q: How do I know which properties will be available for sale?
A: The Commissioner of State Lands publishes a legal notice in the county newspaper prior to the sale. Parcel information for upcoming the auctions is also available on the COSL website, www.cosl.org, under Public Auction Catalog. This information is updated daily.
Q: How can I get more information on a particular piece of property (e.g. location, structures, etc.)?
A: You should contact the county assessor.
Q: Who is entitled to redeem property from the Commissioner of State Lands office?
A: Record owners, heirs, assigns and agents of record owners are entitled to redeem property. Also, persons or entities with recorded interests, such as lien holders, may also be entitled to redeem.
Q: What kind of title do I get if I purchase land at one of the auctions?
A: The state executes a Limited Warranty Deed, which conveys whatever interest the state has in the property to the purchaser.
Q: When will I receive my Limited Warranty Deed?
A: Deeds cannot be issued until after the 10 business day redemption period has expired and all checks have cleared.
Q: How does a successful bidder pay for the property?
A: The full purchase price (amount of the successful bid plus tax due as stated in the catalog) must be paid the day of the auction. The first $100 of EACH PARCEL PURCHASED must be paid in cash, cashier’s check or money order. The remainder may be paid by a personal or corporate check.
Q: Should I make improvements to property I purchase at tax sales?
A: It is recommended that no significant improvements be made to the property prior to the expiration of the 90 day litigation period.
Q: What happens if the sale is set aside, or the Commissioner or judge declares the deed void?
A: In the event a sale or deed is canceled by the Commissioner or a judge, the purchaser is entitled to a full refund (no interest accruing) of all monies paid to the state for the purchase of the property. In addition, all taxes, penalties, interest and costs due on the property must be paid by the party challenging the tax sale or deed.
Q: Can I redeem or purchase delinquent mineral rights from the Commissioner of State Lands office?
A: Tax delinquent mineral interests may be redeemed at any time. In some limited situations, the mineral rights may be purchased from the Commissioner of State Lands.
Q: What happens to property that is offered for sale at public auction, but does not sell?
A: Such property is available for sale no less than 30 days after the date of the auction where it was offered. The purchaser obtains and completes an “Offer to Purchase” form provided by the Commissioner of State Lands making an offer on the property.
Q: Will I be responsible for delinquent special improvement district fees assessed against the property?
A: Probably yes. All potential purchasers should research the property records maintained by the county tax assessor, tax collector and circuit clerk in order to determine if additional fees are owed on the property.
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