Vail Daily column: Paying property taxes
The Eagle County Treasurer’s Office would like to remind property owners that the deadlines have passed for the 2015 taxes due in 2016 and property taxes not yet paid are delinquent. Courtesy calls to property owners will be made by staff during September to make sure they are aware their taxes are delinquent; and to advise them of the collection process so they can avoid additional fees and interest. Property owners are encouraged to provide us with a phone number or email address so that we can contact them in the event their mail is being returned or their taxes become delinquent. Interest accrues at 1 percent per month on past due property taxes, as set by Colorado state statute.
State statute requires delinquent property tax accounts to be advertised in the newspaper. Mobile home and personal property accounts will be advertised in September. All delinquent real property accounts will be advertised for three weeks in October. Any mobile home or personal property account that is still delinquent as of Oct. 1 will be served a distraint warrant by a deputy from the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office the first week of October. The distraint warrant is served to the property and will add additional fees to the balance due.
All mobile home and real property taxes unpaid as of Oct. 31 will be sold at the tax lien sale on Nov. 3. The tax lien sale is held to collect the unpaid taxes. The taxes are purchased by investors and become a lien against the property. The property owner can make payment by certified funds to release the lien and bring their taxes current.
In Colorado, property taxes are collected a year in arrears. By the end of January each year, the tax notice is sent to the owner of record, which is the name and mailing address listed on the tax roll at the time of the assessor’s certification. The tax notice is always mailed to the property owner even if their taxes are being escrowed with a lender. Property owners have the option of making one full payment by April 30 or two equal half payments, with the first half payment being due by the last day of February and the second half payment due by June 15. A delinquent tax notice is mailed the first week of July to accounts that have a balance due at that time.
The Treasurer’s Office is responsible for collecting property taxes for over 85 taxing authorities including the towns, school districts, libraries, fire districts and special districts. These taxing authorities, as well as the county, depend on 100 percent collection each year to meet their budget requirements. By Aug. 31 of each year, we have generally collected about 97 percent of all tax dollars billed.
The Treasurer’s Office makes every effort to notify property owners of delinquent taxes. If you have any questions about your property taxes, the collection process or the tax lien sale, please contact the Eagle County Treasurer’s Office at 970-328-8860 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Property tax information is also available on our website at http://www.eaglecounty.us/treasurer.
Mari Renzelman is the Eagle County treasurer and public trustee.