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Kane delinquent tax bills decrease again in 2013

GENEVA – For the fourth straight year, the number of landowners in Kane County paying their property taxes late decreased.

And that will mean those seeking to make a profit off others’ inability to pay their taxes just may find fewer delinquent tax bills available at Kane County’s tax sale later this month than at any time in the past eight years.

“The trend is moving in the right direction,” Kane County Treasurer David Rickert said. “It’s a really positive leading indicator for the health of the housing market here locally.”

This year, 7,287 property owners received final notices of unpaid property taxes, according to the Kane County Treasurer’s Office. That marks a decline of almost 7.5 percent from a year ago, when 7,872 landowners received final delinquency notices.

It also marks the lowest number of delinquency notices mailed to landowners since 2006, when 7,251 notices were sent.

After receiving the delinquency notices, property taxpayers this year have until 4:30 p.m. Oct. 25 to pay their unpaid taxes by cashier’s check, money order or cash to avoid having their property tax bills lapse into the county’s annual tax sale.

Scheduled for Oct. 28, the event allows investors to bid on the rights to collect unpaid property taxes. Successful bidders then, essentially, purchase the taxes by paying the county the outstanding tax value, plus interest.

After the tax sale, property owners have 36 months to redeem the property by paying taxes and penalties owed. If the outstanding property taxes are not redeemed, the purchaser of the tax bill can take the property. 

Most years, most delinquent tax bills are paid by the property owner, even after the tax sale.

But in the past 10 years, about 43 percent of all delinquent tax bills ultimately are sold at the tax sale.

If that rate holds true this year, about 3,139 properties ultimately would be sold at the tax sale, which would mark a slight increase over 2012.

However, last year, about 39 percent of the properties that received delinquent notices made it to the tax sale without being redeemed. That rate was more typical of healthier economic times, when 35 to 40 percent of delinquent taxpayers were unable to redeem their delinquent tax bills.

Should a similar rate prevail this year, about 2,800 to 2,900 properties would be sold at the tax sale – the lowest number since 2005.

By the numbers

This year, the number of property owners receiving notices for unpaid property taxes decreased again for the fourth straight year. This year’s total number of delinquencies were down 29.5 percent from the peak in 2009. Here are the total number of delinquencies by year, dating from 2005:

2005 – 6,170

2006 – 7,251

2007 – 7,610

2008 – 8,294

2009 – 10,329

2010 – 9,100

2011 – 8,240

2012 – 7,872

2013 – 7,287

Source: Kane County Treasurer’s Office

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