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County Corner | Delinquent property taxes, Tax Lien Sale

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Thank you to our county assessor, Jeanne Kentch, for last month’s article detailing the many accomplishments of her department over the past year. It is an honor to work alongside Jeanne and all of the hardworking elected officials and county employees who take such pride in their service to the citizens of Mohave County.

This month’s edition will focus on two events related to delinquent property taxes. The first of which is the treasurer’s annual Tax Lien Sale. Unpaid real estate taxes on real property in Mohave County for the 2016 tax year (and prior years) was published in the Kingman Daily Miner and available for the annual Tax Lien Sale on Feb. 7, 2018 at www.bidmohave.com.

There are several benefits to holding a tax lien sale. Allowing others to pay delinquent taxes through the auction process in exchange for a tax lien relieves all taxpayers countywide of having to make up the difference or suffer reduced services. As a result of the competitive bidding process, the property owner often receives a reduced interest rate. Lastly, the bidder or investor can earn a higher than market return on investment with a small initial cost per parcel. As you can see, the annual tax lien sale benefits the county, its taxpayers, and investors.

The treasury receives many Tax Lien Sale inquiries each year. In an effort to provide answers and information to the broadest audience possible, my office will hold a workshop prior to this year’s Tax Lien Sale. This public workshop will take place at 9:30 a.m Feb. 9 in the Board of Supervisors Auditorium at the County Administration Building, 700 W. Beale St. We will cover topics of registering as a bidder (a requirement if you wish to participate), purchasing tax liens through the online bidding process, and maintaining your rights as a lienholder should you become one. This workshop is informational only and should not be considered legal advice.

Keep in mind that a Tax Lien Sale is simply offering at public sale the opportunity for someone else to pay property taxes on the owner’s behalf. It is not an outright sale of your property. If you are interested in purchasing property outright, a Tax Deed Sale is better suited for your needs.

A Tax Deed Sale is the sale of real property in the county held by the state by tax deed to the highest bidder for cash. Please note that all parcels offered for sale have delinquent taxes of at least 7 years (and in some cases 40 years or more), and the deed process affords them an additional 6-8 months to bring their accounts current. As a private citizen, I empathize with those individuals who stand to lose their property due to the lack of timely payments of their taxes. However, as the Mohave County treasurer, I must act in the best interest of the entire county. I firmly believe that the Tax Deed Sale is a worthwhile endeavor and is critical to addressing seriously delinquent property taxes.

This is a complex issue with an equally nuanced solution. Treasury staff made an informational presentation to the Board of Supervisors at its Jan. 16 meeting. This was the first of two presentations from my office. If you are interested in learning more about the Tax Deed Sale, you can watch the first presentation (archived on the BOS meeting portal at www.mohavecounty.us). I also encourage you to either come listen to the second presentation in person (at the BOS meeting on Feb. 20) or watch it online at www.mohavecounty.us. My office will provide recommendations to the BOS on how to best move forward as the county looks at the possibility of resuming this process with a sale in early 2019.

I hope to see many of you at our Tax Lien Sale workshop at 9:30 a.m. Feb 9 or at the Tax Deed Sale presentation at the BOS meeting on Feb. 20.

Please look forward to next month’s article from the Mohave County Assessor, Jeanne Kentch.