Paying your tax
Property tax statements are mailed to taxpayers in late October. You must pay at least one-third of your tax bill by November 15 to avoid interest charges. You receive a 3 percent discount if you pay the full amount due by November 15. If you pay two-thirds of the full amount by November 15, you receive a 2 percent discount. If you choose to pay in thirds, the second payment is due by February 15 and the third by May 15.
Personal property taxes become a lien on July 1 against any and all of the assessed property as well as on personal property assessed in the same category. The taxes may become a lien against all personal property owned or in the possession of the person in whose name the property is assessed. The taxes are a debt due and owing from the owner of the personal property.
Taxes on personal property become delinquent whenever any installment is not paid on or before the due date. The tax collector will send a notice of delinquency showing the total amount due, including interest when any tax payment is not made.
If no payment is received, the tax collector may: (1) issue a warrant for the collection of the delinquent personal property taxes and serve it on you, (2) seize and sell the assessed personal property or taxable personal property you own or control, or (3) charge the tax against real property you own.
1. Warrants - When the taxes become delinquent and no payment is made in response to the delinquency notice, the tax collector must prepare, serve, and record a warrant. A copy is served on you either by certified mail, publication in a newspaper, or personal service. Immediately after the warrant is served, if the delinquent taxes, interest, penalties, and costs are not paid, the warrant is recorded with the county clerk. This has the effect of a judgment against you. The tax collector can garnishee your bank account or wages to satisfy that judgment.
2. Seizure and sale - The tax collector can seize and sell the assessed property owned or controlled by the person assessed. When the tax collector takes possession of the property, the owner or person having the property, and all security lien holders, are notified. The seized property is advertised for sale and the notice of time and place of the sale is posted in three public places in the county at least 10 days before the sale. If you do not pay before the time set for the sale, the tax collector will sell the property at public auction.
The property will be sold to the highest bidder, as long as the bid is at least equal to the total of taxes, interest, penalties, and costs. If the highest bid is less than that, the title to the property passes to the county. Then the county may sell the items at a private sale for a price the county sets as reasonable. If more than one item has been seized, only enough items will be sold to recover the taxes, interest, and penalties.
The money received from the sale is applied to your debt. Any unpaid tax remains a debt. You get any surplus over the amount of taxes, interest, and penalties.
3. Lien on real property - Recording a warrant causes a lien upon your real property. The tax collector may charge the delinquent personal property tax against a specific property you own. After three years' delinquency, the county can foreclose for delinquent taxes on real property.