(a) Taxing Unit as Purchaser. - Any taxing unit (or two or more taxing units jointly) may bid at a foreclosure sale conducted under G.S. 105-374 or G.S. 105-375, and any taxing unit that becomes the successful bidder may assign its bid at any time by private sale for not less than the amount of the bid.
(b) Payment of Purchase Price by Taxing Units; Status of Property Purchased by Taxing Units. - Any taxing unit that becomes the purchaser at a tax foreclosure sale may, in the discretion of its governing body, pay only that part of the purchase price that would not be distributed to it and other taxing units on account of taxes, penalties, interest, and such costs as accrued prior to the initiation of the foreclosure action under G.S. 105-374 or docketing of a judgment under G.S. 105-375. Thereafter, in such a case, the purchasing taxing unit shall hold the property for the benefit of all taxing units that have an interest in the property as defined in this subsection (b). All net income from real property so acquired and the proceeds thereof, when resold, shall be first used to reimburse the purchasing unit for disbursements actually made by it in connection with the foreclosure action and the purchase of the property, and any balance remaining shall be distributed to the taxing units having an interest therein in proportion to their interests. The total interest of each taxing unit, including the purchasing unit, shall be determined by adding:
(1) The taxes of the unit, with penalties, interest, and costs (other than costs already reimbursed to the purchasing unit) to satisfy which the property was ordered sold;
(2) Other taxes of the unit, with penalties, interest, and costs which would have been paid in full from the purchase price had the purchase price been paid in full;
(3) Taxes of the unit, with penalties, interest, and costs to which the foreclosure sale was made subject; and
(4) The principal amount of all taxes which became liens on the property after purchase at the foreclosure sale or which would have become liens thereon but for the purchase, but no amount shall be included for taxes for years in which (on the day as of which property was to be listed for taxation) the property was being used by the purchasing unit for a public purpose.
If the amount of net income and proceeds of resale distributable exceeds the total interests of all taxing units defined in this subsection (b), the remainder shall be applied to any special benefit assessments to satisfy which the sale was ordered or to which the sale was made subject, and any balance remaining shall accrue to the purchasing unit.
When any real property that has been purchased as provided in this section is permanently dedicated to use for a public purpose, the purchasing unit shall make settlement with other taxing units having an interest in the property (as defined in this subsection) in such manner and in such amount as may be agreed upon by the governing bodies; and if no agreement can be reached, the amount to be paid shall be determined by a resident judge of the superior court in the district in which the property is situated.
Nothing in this section shall be construed as requiring the purchasing unit to secure the approval of other interested taxing units before reselling the property or as requiring the purchasing unit to pay other interested taxing units in full if the net income and resale price are insufficient to make such payments.
Any taxing unit purchasing property at a foreclosure sale may, in the discretion of its governing body, instead of following the foregoing provisions of this section, make full payment of the purchase price, and thereafter it shall hold the property as sole owner in the same manner as it holds other real property, subject only to taxes and special assessments, with penalties, interest, and costs, to which the sale was made subject.
(c) Resale of Real Property Purchased by Taxing Units. - Real property purchased at a tax foreclosure sale by a taxing unit may be resold at any time (for such price as the governing body of the taxing unit may approve) at a sale conducted in the manner provided by law for sales of other real property of the taxing unit. However, a purchasing taxing unit, in the discretion of its governing body, may resell such property to the former owner or to any other person formerly having an interest in the property at private sale for an amount not less than the taxing unit's interest therein if it holds the property as sole owner or for an amount not less than the total interests of all taxing units (other than special assessments due the taxing unit holding title) if it holds the property for the benefit of all such units. (1939, c. 310, s. 1719; 1945, c. 635; 1947, c. 484, ss. 3, 4; 1951, c. 300, s. 1; c. 1036, s. 1; 1953, c. 176, s. 2; 1955, c. 908; 1967, c. 705, s. 1; 1971, c. 806, s. 1.)