Eagle County Treasurer: County’s annual tax lien sale is coming; here’s how you can participate (column) | VailDaily.com

Eagle County Treasurer: County’s annual tax lien sale is coming; here’s how you can participate (column)

Teak Simonton
Valley Voices

Even during the tax collection offseason, or the second half of each year, the Treasurer's Office has many responsibilities. In addition to collecting outstanding property taxes and the administration of complex banking activities, we are preparing for the annual tax lien sale and reaching out to those eligible with information about a targeted tax deferment program.

Soon after the final tax payment deadline of June 15 each year, we mail reminder notices to owners whose accounts have yet to be paid. In addition, we attempt to call or email property owners and provide reminders and options for bringing their tax accounts current. In those cases where taxes remain delinquent, we are required to sell them as liens at our annual tax lien sale. This year's sale will be held online on Thursday, Nov. 8.

Those interested in the sale can register online starting Thursday, Oct. 11, view a list of available property taxes, provide a deposit and then bid on properties of their choice, purchasing the tax lien for taxes due. People find these sales enticing because the interest rates available are much higher than the average available through other investments.

Tax liens purchased this year will earn as much as 12 percent per year for the time the lien is held. If the taxes remain unpaid for three years, the investor can apply for a deed to the property and take ownership.

All counties in Colorado offer similar tax lien sales, and many like Eagle County are online auctions in which anyone can participate. There is an online tutorial with detailed instructions and information at http://www.eaglecounty.us/treasurer.

The Senior Deferral Program provides an option for those older than 65 or certain classes of active military personnel to defer or postpone payment of their property taxes. This program is similar to a reverse mortgage but applies to the property tax payments, rather than mortgage payments.

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The Colorado State Treasurer makes the tax payments to the county on behalf of the owner and also charges the owner deferred interest on the amount of these payments. Applicants must own and live in the property being deferred, there can't be any delinquent taxes, and application must be made between Jan. 1 and April 1 of each year.

For eligible applicants, the program could be helpful in situations where there is a lot of equity in a home and lack of sufficient income, making paying property taxes difficult. Once the owner or his or her heirs sell the property, these deferrals must be paid back to the state along with interest. More information is available on our website or by calling our office.

We love our work and are always looking for the best approaches to improve efficiency and provide great service. The team approaches each day, each customer interaction and each transaction with integrity and dedication. We are here to serve you, Eagle County government and the county's many taxing authorities. If you ever have questions, concerns or feedback, please do not hesitate to contact us. We look forward to continuing to provide the best possible service to our customers.

Teak Simonton is the Eagle County treasurer. You can reach her at teak.simonton@eaglecounty.us.