A list of 707 businesses and individuals who are delinquent in paying their 2018 property taxes will be published in print copies of The Durango Herald on Oct. 16, Oct. 23 and Oct. 30.
La Plata County Treasurer Allison Aichele said in an email that taxpayers who are delinquent on their property taxes must pay in certified funds. They can pay with a cashier’s check or cash. They cannot pay with a personal check.
Taxes must be received in the Treasurer’s Office by noon Nov. 6 to prevent the tax lien from being sold to an investor at this year’s tax lien sale on Nov. 7 on the internet.
By the time the sale is held, Aichele said, a good number of the delinquent taxpayers will have paid their overdue taxes.
At the tax lien sale, investors can bid on delinquent taxes, and winning bids will go to the county to cover the delinquent taxes. The investor will get 12% a year interest for loaning money to the delinquent taxpayer to cover his or her tax bill.
When delinquent taxpayers eventually pay, they will pay their delinquent tax bills plus all fees and interest to bidders who paid the delinquent tax bills.
Fees assessed on delinquent property taxpayers will cover costs for publishing the list of delinquencies and for administrative costs.
In 2018, Aichele said investors are almost always interested in collecting the 12% interest per year on delinquent tax bills, and they are rarely interested in taking possession of a property.
Under Colorado law, after three years of unpaid property taxes, investors can apply for a treasurer’s deed to acquire the property, and the process includes numerous opportunities for the delinquent taxpayer to pay his or her tax bill. Aichele said it is rare for delinquencies to reach the stage of issuance of a treasurer’s deed.
The tax lien sale, Aichele said, ensures all taxing authorities, such as fire districts, school districts and metro districts, get the tax dollars they expect.
The property taxpayer in the county with the largest delinquency for 2018 is Willis Investments of Durango with an outstanding property tax debt of $40,044.76. The next biggest delinquent taxpayer was Animas River Ventures, which owes $34,245.23 in back property taxes.