Re: Delinquent Property Taxes - Posted by John(TX)
Posted by John(TX) on May 12, 1999 at 16:30:09:
Thanks for the reply. However, I am located in Texas and tax certificates are not issued here. When property taxes become delinquent the property is usually sold at a public auction. This auction is conducted by the county sheriff or marshal. (See “Texas Tax Sale Success” in the articles section of this site for more info.)
The result of the auction is similar to buying a tax certificate except that the high bidder gets deed to the property instead of the certificate. The deed is encumbered by a right of redemption period. After the redemption period it becomes a deed absolute and even wipes out all other encumbrances (judgements, liens, etc) except a federal tax lien. The bidder has just obtained a free and clear property for pennies on the dollar.
However, a buyer does have to wait until the auction takes place. In this particular case the property has never gone to auction. (I don’t know why.) Taxes on this property have not been paid for 20 years. If they were going to put it up for auction I think they would have done so before now. This may have something to do with the Texas property tax laws, which state in part:
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"If a homeowner is 65 or older, the homeowner may defer or postpone paying any delinquent property taxes on his or her home for as long as the owner lives in it. To postpone tax payments, the owner must file a tax deferral affidavit with the appraisal district. A homeowner may suspend any lawsuit by filing an affidavit with the court. The deferral is for all delinquent property taxes owed taxing units that tax the home.
A tax deferral only postpones paying taxes. It doesn’t cancel them. Interest is added at the rate of 8 percent a year. Once the owner no longer owns the home or lives in it, past taxes and interest become due. Any penalty and interest that was due on the tax bill for the home before the tax deferral will remain on the property and also become due when the tax deferral ends. After the tax deferral ends and the taxes remain unpaid, the taxing units may add attorney fees on the 91st day after the deferral and pursue tax collections."
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So, my question remains, Can or will the COUNTY reduce the amount of the back taxes. Since the property is in such bad shape maybe we could appeal the valuation of the property for the last several years. The valuation has stayed the same for the last 15 years while the property has continually deteriorated.