Delinquent Tax Redemption
If the taxes on a parcel of land, mineral rights or mobile homes are not paid, they become delinquent. The County Treasurer conducts a sale of the unpaid taxes every year for the property in delinquency. Professional tax buyers and private citizens bid on the right to buy the delinquent taxes on individual parcels of property. Winning bidders then pay the outstanding tax. Once the tax sale is complete, the County Clerk is responsible for receiving payment of delinquent taxes.
Interest and penalties can add quickly to the amount the property owner owes. Original interest can range from nothing to a high of 18 percent annually. Other fees, court costs, certified mailing costs and other costs add to the total due. Interest penalties are added every six months after the original tax sale, so it is wise to redeem delinquent property not only to preserve property rights but also to prevent additional costs.
It is important to note that property owners do not immediately lose their ownership of the property. For property owners residing on the property, the owners have two and a half years during which to redeem their property and protect their interest. After that time, tax buyers may grant an extension to the property owner or petition the Circuit Court for a tax deed transferring ownership.