County Corner | Five commonly asked questions about delinquent taxes

A huge thank you to all who paid the first half property tax payments in a timely manner. I realize there are many circumstances that can result in late or missed payments. In this article, I will address some commonly asked questions regarding delinquent taxes and the Treasurer’s Tax Lien Sale. However, first I am discussing a service that can save tax dollars by reducing printing costs incurred by the county.

eNoticesOnline is a service, which allows property owners to register and receive their annual property tax statement(s) via email. Once you register, the county no longer has to pay for printing your annual property tax statement(s). With close to 300,000 parcels in Mohave County this could represent significant savings. Once registered, your parcel(s) annual property tax statements and year-over year payment history will be viewable online anytime. Sign up today at eNoticesOnline.com using the “Authorization Code” found on your tax statement.

Question: When are property taxes due?

Answer: Arizona law allows the option for property owners to pay their taxes in two installments on most properties. The first installment is due each Oct. 1 and becomes past due (delinquent) after 5 p.m. on Nov. 1. The second installment is due March 1 of the following year, and becomes past due after 5 p.m. on May 1st. If the taxes owed are $100 or less, they became due and payable in full Oct. 1 and are delinquent after Dec. 31. If current year taxes are paid in full (both installments) by Dec. 31, interest accrued after Nov. 1 is waived (per statute).

Question: Is a Tax Lien Sale an outright sale of property?

Answer: No. A tax lien sale is simply offering at public sale the opportunity for someone else to pay your property taxes on your behalf. The purchaser becomes a lienholder against your property. The lien amount is for the taxes, fees and interest paid by the lienholder on your property until you repay the delinquent taxes.

Question: When is the 2018 Tax Lien Sale?

Answer: We hold an online tax lien sale in February of each year. Starting in early February, we advertise tax liens for sale in the Kingman Daily Miner and on BidMohave.com. Bidders can register for the sale (submit W-9 forms, pay deposits, get bidder numbers) and submit bids. On or before Feb. 28, bid submission ends and the sale results are generated.

Question: What happens after someone becomes a lienholder against my property?

Answer: When you pay the lienholder in full (referred to as redemption), the lien is terminated (referred to as extinguished). In actuality, this gives you, the taxpayer, over four years from the original due date to pay your taxes and keep your property (Including the period prior to the tax sale and the time you have to repay the lienholder).

Question: What are the benefits of a Tax Lien Sale to Mohave County Tax Payers?

Answer: The tax lien sale is a “Win, Win, Win” endeavor. The real property tax on all county parcels is the primary source of income to continue the operations of the county. These taxes cover the financial support needed to provide critical (often lifesaving) services. When these taxes are not paid, the county may have to reduce operations or place additional burden on taxpayers that have already paid their taxes.

• The first “Win” or benefit is that allowing others to pay delinquent taxes through the auction process relieves all taxpayers countywide of having to make up the delinquent taxes or suffer reduced services.

• The second “win” is that through a competitive auction process, the property owner often receives a reduced interest rate. The average interest rate for tax liens sold over the past three years was roughly half the legally mandated interest rate on delinquent taxes (currently 16 percent).

• Finally, the third “Win” is for bidders who are interested in acquiring a tax lien on property. An investor who understands the process and performs due diligence can yield a higher than market return on investment with a small initial cost per parcel. Thus Win, Win,Win!

I in no way mean to oversimplify the delinquent tax process; however, I do want to make clear that there are upsides to the tax lien sale. Again, there can be complicating factors and if you have further questions about delinquent taxes or becoming a tax lien investor please call the office or visit our website atwww.mohavecounty.us.

Have a wonderful and safe holiday season!