County treasurer raises $2 million in tax lien sale |

County treasurer raises $2 million in tax lien sale

EAGLE, Colorado – The Eagle County Treasurer’s Office collected almost $2 million in back property taxes during Wednesday’s tax lien sale.

And investors will see 10 percent on their money.

Wednesday’s tax lien sale was the third largest in Eagle County history: 175 investors bought the tax bills on 287 real properties and eight mobile homes for $1,963,277.74 in unpaid property taxes.

It should come as no surprise that the first and second largest tax lien sales were the last two years.

Eagle County Treasurer Karen Sheaffer said investors participate in the sale because interest rates are higher than you’ll earn with savings accounts or Certificates of Deposit.

Chances are not great that you’ll acquire real estate for the price of the tax bill, but 10 percent is a pretty good return on your investment, Sheaffer said.

“Investors who participate are purchasing the taxes due on property; it does not give them ownership or legal rights to the property in any way,” Sheaffer said. “Less than one percent of all tax liens actually end up going to deed.”

If you didn’t pay your 2010 property taxes, investors got to buy that tax bill during Wednesday’s auction, said Mari Renzelman, with the Eagle County Treasurer’s Office. If, in three years, you still haven’t paid your property taxes, the investor gets to apply for ownership to the property.

While they hold that lien, the investors get 10 percent on their money, Renzelman said.

The interest rate is based on the federal discount rate plus 9 percent, which put it at 10 percent this year.

It’s the same across Colorado, Renzelman said.

The highest interest rate anyone could remember was 15 percent in 2005 and 2006.

Property taxes of less than $7,500 are handled in a round robin. If you’re there and you want one, you can buy one – as long as there are more tax bills than investors.

“It was close this year,” Renzelman said.

The round robin was first, followed by bidding on tax bills of more than $7,500, and then mobile home taxes closed the show.

This year’s sale took almost all day, starting at 9 a.m. and wrapping up in late afternoon.

Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 or

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