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County changing tax sale process for delinquent property owners

County officials are implementing changes to the upset tax sale process aimed at providing increasing public outreach.

An initial posting that occurs in May will be moved to June.

“The reason behind this change is to streamline the process and improve our outreach to property owners,” Tax Claim Director Phil Gilbert said. “Currently, in July, we conduct ‘additional notification efforts’ for notices that were undelivered in May. This requires additional research to find these individuals.”

Shifting the date may alleviate the need for some of that research.

“Property owners will have more time to receive the notice (the posting), become aware of the situation, and potentially gather the funds to settle their tax delinquencies before the sale,” Gilbert said. “We are hoping those that miss their mailings, will see the posting, thus giving that extra time.”

The next tax sale is the judicial sale set for next month. Just 11 properties are currently set to go to that sale, a number that is extraordinarily now.

A low number on the judicial sale list is positive news,” Gilbert said. “It indicates that property owners are proactively addressing their delinquent taxes. Before a property reaches the sale stage, they have the opportunity to settle the full balance and remove it from the list.”

There’s a cost-savings to the county by people paying their taxes and slipping out of the sale.

“When property owners settle their delinquencies before the sale, the county collects the full amount owed, including taxes, penalties, and interest,” he said. “At a judicial sale, the opening bid typically only covers the county’s administrative costs associated with the sale process. So, a successful pre-sale resolution means capturing the entirety of the owed taxes, rather than just the potentially lower starting bid at the auction.”

Each property costs $500 to $1,000 to prepare for sale.

“Avoiding these costs by having owners settle beforehand is another benefit of a low sale list,” Gilbert said. “Overall, a low number of properties on the judicial sale list signifies responsible action by property owners and a more efficient collection process for the county.”

DEADLINE PASSED

Gilbert added that the last day to pay 2023 taxes was April 12. Those taxes won’t be payable with the Tax Claim Bureau until May 1 and will be assessed a $45 fee for being delinquent.

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