tax properties head for the auction block
may never be a good idea to let taxes go unpaid, but letting
them go for three years until they are put into a delinquent
tax sale is even a bigger and more complicated problem
than most individuals realize.
County Collector Donna Nash and her staff have been getting
ready for the public auction of all lands and lots on
which taxes are delinquent in Platte County, which is
always held on the fourth Monday in August.
year's sale will take place in the county commission meeting
room located in the Platte County Administration Building,
beginning at 10 a.m., on Monday, Aug. 27.
admits that it's the worst part of her job, but it is
one way that the state has devised for collecting taxes
on real estate.
not a good idea to let it go," said Nash as she refers
to individuals who wait hoping that their delinquent taxes
will be sold at the auction.
said that some people think that the process of retrieving
their property back after it has been sold will be easier
than paying up before- hand.
explained that this is a mistake and gave the following
example: If a taxpayer owes $3,000 in delinquent taxes,
and two people bid at the auction and drive the price
up and it is sold at $20,000, then the taxpayer has a
bigger problem than before.
taxpayer not only owes the $20,000 to reclaim the property,
but also owes 10 percent interest and eight percent on
the subsequent year's taxes.
they didn't have $3,000, where are they going to get the
$20,000?" asked Nash.
She did explain that although the taxpayer would owe the
whole amount initially, he or she would be able to petition
to the treasurer's office to get a big portion of the
money back after the $3,000 and all fees had been paid.
entire delinquent tax process begins with a single notice,
and if taxes are still not paid by March of the third
year, then the taxpayers are sent a certified letter stating
that their property will go up for grabs at a delinquent
tax sale in August.
delinquent tax listings were also published in The
Landmark starting in July.
"That's when we get the best response," said
Nash, "By that time we've sent out two years of delinquent
says that sometimes it is difficult to notify the taxpayers
if they live in a different county and just own property
in Platte County, and it's even more difficult when they
are out of state.
must be made on the internet or by contacting another
county to find the address so the taxpayers can be notified.
County Deputy Collector Sheila Palmer begins her research
in January on land and titles that have delinquent taxes,
and notifies everyone that has an interest in the property
of the upcoming delinquent tax sale.
year Palmer had about 90 parcels of land to sift through
compared to about 100 last year.
try to encourage people to do research before they come
in and buy," said Palmer. "That way they will
know what they are buying and the history of the real
day of the sale, prospective purchasers will be given
an updated list of properties, along with the owners'
name and address and the amount of fees.
making bids on the property, individuals are required
to sign an affidavit stating that they do not owe any
back taxes and that they are residents of Missouri. Nash
said that if individuals are from outside of Missouri
they are not allowed to bid unless they have some type
of power of attorney.
after a bid has been accepted by a purchaser, that does
not mean he or she is a clear owner of the land. Instead
the purchaser is an owner of a tax certificate, since
they have bought the lien against the property.
that, the taxpayer, the original owner of the property,
has two years to redeem the property by paying all taxes
this is done, then the purchaser is reimbursed and the
tax certificate is returned.
If the taxpayer does not come forward in two years, then
the purchaser may claim a collector's deed on the property.
The purchaser then has the responsibility to "quiet"
the title by assuming all responsibilities and encumbrances
on the lien.
Palmer said that this is done by running the title through
circuit court and advertising in the paper to be positive
that there are no other lien holders.
Before the land officially trades ownership, the purchaser
has to sign an affidavit that the taxpayer was notified
and so were all lien holders, and that a title search
Nash said that it is a good idea if the purchaser hires
someone to do a professional title search.
"If it comes down to a lawsuit and they've filed
illegally, they could be in a lot of trouble," she
As for the rest of the unsold delinquent tax certificates,
Nash says that the mortgage or the lien holder will pay
the taxes a lot of times.
If not, the taxes keep accumulating until they are paid
said Nash, and they will be up for sale once every five
years until they are paid or bought by someone who will
That means someone may have some hefty taxes to pay since
last year only approximately 25 out of 100 delinquent
tax properties were sold.
Some parcels are particularly difficult to sell.
Nash said that sometimes they get odd parcels that should
have been included in a subdivision but for some reason
were left out of a deed.
These pieces of land could include a subdivision sign,
drainage ditch or private drive to name a few.
For example, Nash said this year the entrance sign to
Valleybrook Subdivision, including the area around it,
is up for bids.
If no one purchases it, then it too will accumulate taxes
for another five years until the next sale or until someone
purchases it, whichever comes first.