For real estate, if taxes are not paid by the due date, penalty accrues on the late payment. The later the payment, the greater the penalty. Penalty rates are listed on the back of the tax statement and increase monthly.
On Jan. 2 of the following year, the unpaid taxes are considered to be delinquent. At that point, the penalty rate increases and interest is also imposed on the unpaid tax, penalty and fees. The current interest rate is 10 percent per year. The interest rate increases monthly.
Each year, the County starts delinquent tax proceedings against the first year delinquent properties. A ‘tax judgment’ is entered against the property for the delinquent amount due. In March the property owner is notified of this action in two ways:
- A letter is mailed to the delinquent property owners.
- A list of all affected properties is published in the newspaper for two weeks. The publication includes the parcel number, owner name, address, property description and delinquent amount.
A delinquency fee is imposed on first year delinquent parcels to cover the costs of publication and notification. The current fee is $39.
The first year of delinquency starts the clock ticking toward tax forfeiture. Generally, property owners have three years to pay all delinquent taxes and avoid tax forfeiture on the property. This is called the Period of Redemption.
If taxes are not paid by the end of the redemption period, the property will forfeit to the State of Minnesota for nonpayment of taxes. The County generally mails a courtesy notice in March of the year this will take place. Formal notice of this pending action is given to property owners via certified mail, generally in May.
Partial payments are accepted. In accordance with state law, payments are applied first to penalties, then to interest, fees and taxes. For properties with more than one year of delinquency, taxes are paid in inverse order of the due date.
If you are at risk of losing your property to tax forfeiture, a Confession of Judgment Payment Plan may be available.