Part of the duties of the county attorney’s office is to collect delinquent ad valorem/property taxes. Once the delinquent taxes have been transferred from the sheriff’s office to the county clerk’s office, it is then the responsibility of the county attorney’s office to collect the delinquent tax bills. It is our goal to do this with respect and compassion while also keeping in mind the best interest of the county.
In recent years we have noticed a phenomenon where certain out of state companies have come in to our county and purchased delinquent property taxes for investment purposes. Delinquent property tax bills earn 12 percent interest per annum. When third parties purchase tax bills they can also charge administrative fees and attorney fees which can turn into substantial amounts of money. Each citizen is encouraged to pay their property taxes timely to avoid these additional expenses.
For those individuals who have had difficulties with their finances and are unable to pay on a timely basis, a contract may be set up through the county attorney’s office to assist them in making payments to avoid outside entities from purchasing the tax bills. Please be advised that such agreements include payment of the greater of $100 per month or 1/12 of the total bill per month. The County Attorney reserves the right to refuse to enter into such agreements deemed not in the county’s best interest. For more information you can contact Kathy at the County Attorney’s Office (827-5753).
Delinquent County Tax Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is considered a delinquent real estate tax bill?
A: A tax bill is considered “delinquent” when the due date has passed and by statute any appeal rights have expired. Henderson County real estate property tax notices are mailed out in late October or early November by the Sheriff’s Office and are payable to the Sheriff’s Office beginning November 1. They become delinquent on January 1, following their due date. The bills are maintained and collected in the Sheriff’s Office until the Sheriff turns over the uncollected tax bills to the County Clerk’s Office. The delinquent tax bills are then maintained at the Henderson County Clerk’s Office, where they accrue interest of 1% per month plus penalties until paid.
Q: Where do I send my delinquent tax payment?
A: Delinquent taxes may be paid by visiting the Henderson County Clerk’s Office at 20 N. Main Street, Second Floor, Courthouse, Henderson, KY. If you are unable to go to their office, full payment can be mailed by personal check, cashier’s check, money order or certified check to:
Henderson County Clerk
20 N. Main Street
Henderson, Kentucky, 42420
Q: Can I pay my delinquent taxes with a debit or credit card?
A: Yes. You may pay your delinquent tax liability by credit card. Currently, the County Clerk’s Office accepts American Express, Discover and MasterCard. Visa can be used only as a debit. There is a small additional fee charged by the Clerk’s Office for all of these types of payments.
Q: Is a lien placed on my property when my taxes become delinquent?
A: Yes. There is a lien against your property until the bill is paid in full.
Q: Who can lawfully purchase my delinquent tax bill?
A: Kentucky law allows any individual or company qualified under KRS Chapter 134 to purchase taxpayers’ delinquent tax bills at the tax sale held by the County Clerk. The purchase can neither be anticipated nor prevented by the Henderson County Clerk.
Q: What happens when someone buys my delinquent tax bill?
A: The buyer receives a Certificate of Delinquency from the County Clerk and must abide by the requirements of KRS 134.490, KRS 134.546, and all other dictates of KRS Chapter 134. The buyer has fifty (50) days to give you notice he has purchased your tax bill. Payment must be sent directly to the buyer, along with the associated penalties and interest assessed by the buyer. Once you pay the buyer, the buyer sends a release to the County Clerk for recording. You may obtain a copy of the release from the County Clerk for a small fee.
Q: How long do I have to pay the buyer?
A: The buyer may institute a foreclosure action in court against you for the unpaid debt one (1) year after the creation of the certificate of delinquency. However, some buyers may be in no hurry to collect the debt, given the high interest rates charged, and may simply hold the certificate as long as your equity in the property exceeds the tax debt.