Properties with back taxes could go to auction
Sunday's Yuma Sun will be quite a bit bigger than usual, with 14 pages of long lists of property in Yuma County that have delinquent taxes dating back two years or more.
If the back taxes aren't caught up by Feb. 22, the county will place tax liens on the properties that will be sold at an auction.
The auction is scheduled for 9 a.m. Feb. 26 at the Yuma County Board of Supervisors Auditorium, 198 S. Main St., said Angela P. Moreno, Yuma County treasurer.
The auction will include 4,007 parcels for a total of nearly $3.4 million in back taxes owed for 2011 and before, she said.
That compares with last year's auction of 4,584 parcels with $4.9 million in back taxes. Last year, 1,252 parcels — 27 percent — were sold at the auction.
The liens that aren't sold at the auction can be purchased over the counter in the treasurer's office.
The properties are throughout Yuma County and range from vacant lots to custom homes.
Moreno noted that after the list was printed in the Yuma Sun last year, only 10 percent of taxpayers paid the delinquent taxes before the liens went to auction.
“Hopefully we can get a better response from this year's advertisement.”
Moreno explained that bidders aren't purchasing property but a tax lien against the property in the amount of their investment. They will receive a certificate of purchase that entitles them to make subsequent payments of delinquent taxes. These taxes will be added the initial investment and continue to draw interest until the tax lien is redeemed or a foreclosure action results.
Prospective bidders are advised to investigate the property in advance to determine if it would be of sufficient use or value if they should obtain a deed in the future.
Prior to bidding, all bidders must provide the Treasurer's Office with a complete W-9 and Bidder Information Form, and research on parcels must be completed.
The successful bidder will pay the entire amount of taxes, interest, fees and amounts necessary to redeem any prior liens with guaranteed funds by noon of the next day. Cashier's check, money order or cash will be accepted.
Bids are based on interest income to the bidder. The maximum bid is 16 percent simple interest per annum prorated monthly.
If the owner redeems the certificate of purchase on the property, the investor receives his money back plus interest at the rate bid at the sale.
For more information about the auction and bidding process, details are at www.yumacountyaz.gov under the government and treasurer page.