Property taxes on a real estate parcel must be delinquent for the prior year's first installment, or older, before that parcel is declared eligible for tax sale. Grant County last held a tax sale on September 2013, and plans to hold the next tax sale September 18 of 2014. A list of those parcels that are eligible for the 2014 tax sale will be published three times in local newspapers. At the point that a parcel is declared eligible for tax sale, all delinquent taxes, as well as a Tax Sale Fee, must be paid in order to remove the parcel from the tax sale. When a parcel goes to tax sale, however, the minimum bid that is required to purchase the parcel will be all of the delinquent taxes, plus the amount for the current tax year.
A winning bidder at the tax sale is actually buying a certificate of lien on the parcel, which entitles the buyer to request the court to issue a tax deed to the property within 180 days after the one-year redemption period has expired. There are some requirements that must be met in order for the court to grant this request. Please consult with an attorney to determine what these requirements are. After the requirements are met, all liens, including mortgage liens, but not including state or Federal tax liens, are removed from the parcel and the property will be transferred according to the directions of the tax sale lien holder. The Treasurer can only sell lien certificates at the annual tax sale, and not at any other time. Once bought from the Treasurer they may, however, be transferred between individual holders at any time.
When a property that was sold at tax sale is redeemed, the buyer (lien holder) is entitled to reimbursement for the tax amount, plus a 10% fee during the first six months of the redemption period, or 15% during the second six months of the redemption period. Since the liens are sold during a competitive auction, bid amounts may be more than just the amount of the taxes due. The amount that a bid exceeds the taxes that are due is called overbid, and is deposited by the county into a special fund. The lien holder is entitled to 10% interest per annum on the overbid amount, if any, in addition to the fee described above. In order to complete the redemption process, the property owner must reimburse the lien holder for the amount of the taxes that were paid at the sale, the fee on those taxes, the interest on the overbid, if any, and certain expenses that the lienholder might incur while perfecting the title. The county then adds the amount of the overbid, from the special fund, to the reimbursement from the property owner and pays it all to the lien holder.
During the redemption period, the lien buyer has no right to enter the property or make any changes to the property. Those rights are granted at the time that the court transfers the deed, as described above. The owner of the property during the redemption period continues to have the right to demolish buildings or take any other legally permissible action that he or she wishes to take.