These were formerly a not uncommon form of investment in the West, as well as in some other sections.of the country, but their desirability is questionable, as there are many objections. It may be a long term • of years, according to the State in which the property is located, before one may know, without question, as to the actual outcome, and the money may be, therefore, tied up for that length of time. There is also a possibility of a law suit to defend the title. The rates of interest are usually very high, but should be in order to offset the bother and uncertainty incident to an investment of this class. The laws relating to tax certificates vary greatly in the different States, but some idea of their general characteristics may be obtained by using two Western States as examples.
Tax certificates are issued by the County Treasurer for lands sold for unpaid taxes. They are a first lien on the property, but the land may be redeemed from the lien at any time within three years after the date of sale or thereafter at any time before the execution of the deed to the purchaser. To effect such redemption the owner of the land must pay the County Treasurer for the benefit of the holder of the tax certificate the amount for which the land was sold, with interest thereon from the date of sale at the rate per cent, per annum bid by the purchaser at such sale not to exceed the rate of 24% per annum for the first six months, 18% per annum for the subsequent six months and the remaining period the rate of 12% per annum, together with the amount of all taxes accruing on such real estate after the sale paid by the purchaser and indorsed on his certificate of purchase with the interest thereon at the rate of 12% per annum, provided, that from the time when the purchaser is entitled to a deed such taxes shall bear interest at 8% per annum and no more up to the time of applying for such deed. If no redemption is made within the three years the holder of the tax certificate is entitled to a treasurer's tax deed upon giving certain notices. This deed cannot be attacked in court for irregularities after five years after the execution and delivery thereof, except the owner be a minor, or insane, or an idiot residing in the United States, in which case he shall have a year after disability is removed to bring such action.
Such tax certificates are assignable by indorsement.
Redemption may be made in three years after sale by payment of amount of sale and 15% on same, with 10% interest per annum on whole amount and subsequent taxes, and 10% per annum thereon. Tax deed in three years.