Delta County Treasurer Lisa Tafoya visited commissioners on Monday to obtain permission to close her office at 1 pm on Wednesday, Nov. 6, in preparation for the county’s annual tax lien sale on Thursday Nov. 7.
The closure would allow staffers to prepare for the sale, which begins promptly at 10 am in the district court room. Properties with outstanding taxes were printed once in the Delta County Independent and are listed on the county treasurer’s website, updated every Monday.
Lisa Tafoya has been Treasurer for only a month, but she worked in the office for six years and had already announced her decision to run for Treasurer in the November 2014 election when she was tapped to replace Jim Ventrillo.
Tafoya explains that the county holds its tax lien sale in order to get 100% of its property taxes, which must be divvied up among various entities according to mill levies and other agreements. The sale attracts investors, who go from county to county buying up the liens.
"And normally they’re not interested in the property itself," Tafoya says, "they’re interested in the interest they earn." She says that interest is less than one percent per month this year, but compared to other investments, it still makes good economic sense for investors.
Never fear, if you didn’t pay your tax yet.
"You’re not in danger of losing your property, you can come in any time after that, but you will pay additional fees," Tafoya says.
If you fail to pay taxes for four years, though, investors may acquire the property itself.
"If it’s a real piece of property, they have to pay those taxes for four years, before they can apply for a treasurer’s deed," Tafoya explains.
Tafoya says the county usually has a full house, more than 100 investors, for the sale. There are about 300 delinquent properties currently listed on the website. That’s from a total of nearly 21,000 properties in the county. Last year some 240 properties went to tax lien sale in Delta County.