You may be asking “What is a Tax Sale?” “How can someone sell taxes?”
Let me try to explain. Last May, my office mailed property tax bills. Almost all these taxes are paid, but some are still owed. What do we do with these unpaid property taxes?
Illinois law provides the method for collecting these delinquent taxes.
The method chosen is a Tax Sale, where “tax buyers” compete against each other to pay other people’s taxes.
Before we hold a Tax Sale, taxpayers are reminded, through certified mail and newspaper publication, to pay their taxes.
Because they get a penalty interest rate in return.
Let’s say you have $1,000 in unpaid taxes. The bidding begins at 18 percent, which is the highest penalty rate allowed by law. The tax buyers bid your taxes down to 2 percent penalty rate.
What do you do then?
You must then work with the County Clerk’s Office to pay your taxes that were sold. Now you owe $1,000, plus $20 (the 2 percent penalty rate) and about $200 in various fees.
Please pay attention to me. If you don’t redeem your taxes within two to three years, you could lose your home or property.
The bottom line is, please pay your taxes to avoid the Tax Sale.