Government-Owned Property

DEFINITION of 'Government-Owned Property'

Assets owned by federal, state or local governments. This may include residential, commercial and industrial land, as well as other physical assets, such as machinery. Property may become government-owned property through normal purchases or if it is foreclosed on for failure to pay taxes, or for other reasons. Government-owned property may also refer to the property administered by the federal government, such as consulate buildings and embassies. Property that is owned by the government is typically exempt from being taxed.

BREAKING DOWN 'Government-Owned Property'

Investors interested in land can attend an auction of government-owned property, which may ultimately be sold at attractive prices. For example, the government may seize capital equipment from a manufacturer who declared bankruptcy and owed a substantial amount of taxes. It may auction this off to other manufacturers, who are likely to pay less for the used equipment than they would if they purchased brand new equipment.