Real Estate Division:
· To collect taxes certified for all real estate, mobile homes, special assessments, utilities
· Process Iowa Property Tax Credit Claims for senior citizens or disabled persons
· Pursue collection of tax liens by ordinary lawsuit or by proceeding to the taking of the tax sale deed
· Prepare for publishing a newspaper notice of tax sale. The delinquent tax list is published in one of the three official newspapers and awarded by lowest bid for publishing -- These newspapers are the Bulletin-Journal, Citizen Herald, and the Winthrop News.
· Conduct annual and adjourned tax sales.
· Send notice of delinquent taxes to taxpayers with outstanding taxes as of February 1.
· Send notice of annual tax sale no later than May 1
Collection of Property Taxes:
It is the Treasurer's duty to collect all taxes, certified by the County Auditor, which includes real estate, mobile homes, special assessments, buildings on leased land, equipment assessed as real estate, utilities and grain handlers . The County Auditor delivers tax lists of the various districts to the Treasurer at the beginning of each fiscal year. Taxes are segregated in taxing districts, and the amounts collected are apportioned to the various funds; State, Area Schools, Ag Extension, Assessor/Appraiser, County, School, corporate entities and townships.
Property Tax Payments:
Property taxes may be paid in two installments. The first half is due September 1 and becomes delinquent October 1; the second half is due March 1 and becomes delinquent April 1.
Delinquent interest accrues at the rate of 1.5% per month, rounded to the nearest dollar with a minimum of a dollar.
Payments may be mailed to the Buchanan County Treasurer, PO Box 319, Independence IA 50644. A secured drop box available for payments is located in the parking lot near the southeast corner of the courthouse. It may be used during and after office hours. MasterCard, VISA, and Discover credit card payments are accepted for taxes and motor vehicle transactions. There is a non-refundable service charge added to the cost of these transacations.
Payments for redemption from tax sale must be paid by guaranteed funds. The rate of interest required by Iowa law to be paid in a redemption is 2% per month.
Notice of Delinquent Taxes:
The law requires that a notice be sent to property owners who have outstanding taxes as of February 1. The notification explains that under Iowa law, it is important for property owners to pay taxes and special assessments when they are due in order to avoid the tax sale.
Iowa law also requires that a notice of the annual tax sale shall be mailed not later than May 1 to the person in whose name the parcel subject to sale is taxed. In compliance with this law, a Delinquent Tax Statement and Tax Sale Notice is mailed in April to provide proper notice of the pending tax sale.
Delinquent taxes as of May 1 are assessed a publication fee and must be advertised for sale at the annual tax sale in June. The delinquent tax list is published in one of the three official newspapers and awarded by lowest bid for publishing -- These newspapers are the Bulletin-Journal, Citizen Herald, and the Winthrop News.
The Annual Tax Sale is held the third Monday in June at 8:30 a.m. with an adjourned sale scheduled for the third Monday for every other subsequent month. Any delinquency must be offered for sale at the Regular or Public Bidder Tax Sale.
Delinquent tax and/or special assessments advertised twice and remaining unsold for want of bidders, must be offered for sale at the annual Public Bidder Sale. Buchanan County is required by Iowa law to purchase the delinquencies if there is no private sector bidder. Further, once a Certificate of Purchase at Tax Sale has been issued to the County, the Treasurer has the authority to bring an ordinary suit at law for the collection of taxes.
· Process tax sale redemptions