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Tax Sale

What is a Tax Sale?

The Annual Tax Sale is administered by the County Treasurer in accordance with Iowa Code Chapter 446 on the third Monday in June.  Taxes that remain unpaid as of the date of the sale are offered, in an open competitive bidding process, for the purpose of collecting unpaid taxes.  

Once the taxes are sold at tax sale to another party they are considered paid. A tax lien is then placed on the property and if the tax sale is not redeemed within the time specified by Iowa law, the tax sale certificate holder may initiate proceedings to obtain a tax deed on the property.

Why does the County hold an Annual Tax Sale?

The purpose of the tax sale is to collect unpaid property taxes.  Property taxes fund numerous essential services of a community including hospitals, schools, law enforcement and road construction. When taxing authorities set the tax levy (rate) needed to fund their budget, they do so with the expectation that property taxes will be collected.  The Tax Sale is a way to ensure taxing authority budgets are funded.

What should I do if I have a tax sale on my property?

Pursuant to Iowa law, you may make a full redemption by remitting your payment to the County Treasurer for the amount of delinquent tax originally sold at tax sale plus two percent per month. Additional amounts may accrue.

Taxes for subsequent years may be paid by the tax sale certificate holder beginning one month and fourteen days following the date from which a subsequent installment becomes delinquent. Even though prior taxes may have been sold at tax sale you may pay these subsequent taxes before the tax sale certificate holder has the right to pay them.

If redemption is not completed within the time period provided by law, the right to redeem expires and a tax deed may be issued to the tax sale certificate holder.

Who can redeem the tax sale on my property?

You must have an interest in the property sufficient to give you the right to redeem the tax sale. A sufficient interest means that you must be one of the following:

  • The titleholder of record.
  • The person in whose name the parcel was/is taxed.
  • A person in possession of the parcel.
  • A mortgagee with a lien on the parcel.
  • A vendor of the parcel under a recorded contract of sale.
  • A lessor with a recorded lease or memorandum of recorded lease.
  • Any other person with an interest of record

Examples:

  • Judgment creditor of record
  • Vendee under recorded real estate contract
  • Holder of an inherited or devised recorded interest
  • Tax sale certificate holder

What do I do if I have received a Notice to Redeem from Tax Sale stating that I have ninety days to redeem the tax sale on my parcel?

Contact your County Treasurer for information about your rights concerning a tax sale redemption and what steps are needed to redeem the tax sale certificate. If redemption is not completed within the time period provided by law, the right to redeem expires and a tax deed may be issued to the tax sale certificate holder.

How do I find more information about the Annual Tax Sale?

Tax Sale rules and conditions may vary by county.  To learn more about the Tax Sale for your county, see the link below:

Buchanan County                                Clayton County                                     Dickinson County

Floyd County                                       Iowa County - call 319-642-3921        Johnson County

Linn County                                         Montgomery County                             Polk County

Pottawattamie County                        Poweshiek County - call 641-623-5128