John owns a property in Clayton County, parcel “ABC”. Parcel ABC owes $10,000 in local ad valorem taxes. However, parcel ABC has a fair market value of only $5,000. In this instance, because the value of the property is less than the debt owed on the property, it is presumably unmarketable to a standard purchaser. John makes his intention known that he no longer can, or longer wishes, to remain responsible for taxes on this parcel and is willing to either donate it to the local Land Bank or willing to allow it to be sold at a county tax sale.
Through the laws of Georgia and procedures of the Land Bank, it is able to receive a donation of this property or otherwise “credit bid” the cost of the taxes on the property, thereby extinguishing all taxes and debts on the property. Now, parcel ABC has a FMV of $5,000, but holds no debt. This scenario makes it considerably more marketable to builders, developers, or even the contiguous neighbor. Also, now that this parcel has been sold to a tax payer, it becomes revenue positive on the tax roll for Clayton County.