UtahCounty.gov

Official Website of Utah County Government

Utah County Mount Timpanogos
Frequently Asked Questions - May Tax Sale

Below is a list of the most commonly asked questions regarding the May Tax Sale. Click on a question to view the answer.

1. What is a Tax Sale?Click on heading for answer.

Any property not redeemed by March 15th following the lapse of four years from the date when the property became delinquent will be included in the Annual Delinquent Tax Sale held in May. This sale allows the county to recapture taxes due on any parcel that is more than four years delinquent. The sale of delinquent parcels are governed by state statute and county ordinance.

The Tax Sale listing will be on the internet four weeks immediately preceding the date of the Tax Sale and is updated in real time. This means as properties are redeemed they will automatically be removed from the online listing. The tax sale list is also placed in a local newspaper of general circulation for 4 weeks prior to the date of the sale.

Utah State Statute Title 59 “Revenue and Taxation” Chapter 2 “Property Tax Act” (Sections 1301-1372)

Utah County Ordinance “Chapter 21 “Taxation”, Article 5 ”Real Property Tax Sale Procedures”

2. When will the Tax Sale be held?Click on heading for answer.

In Utah County, the Tax Sale is held annually on the 3rd Thursay of May. Bidders may register online or at the door. Bidder registration and check-in will begin at 9:00 am and the auction will start promptly at 10:00 am (MDT) in the Utah County Health & Justice Building (room 2500), 151 South University Avenue, Provo, Utah 84606, unless otherwise noted.

3. What newspaper is the Tax Sale advertised in? Click on heading for answer.

Delinquent property listings are published in a newspaper of general circulation for 4 weeks prior to the sale. Public notices will be published in either The Daily Herald, Deseret News, or Salt Lake Tribune starting in mid to late April depending on the exact date the Tax Sale is held in May. The notices will appear in either the Thursday, Friday or Sunday editions. The is also published on the county website with links to each properties information page. It is highly recommended that interested buyers go to each property's information page and review all documents recorded against the property as part of their research.

4. What are the owner's redemption rights?Click on heading for answer.

Delinquent property may be redeemed on behalf of the owner of record by any person at any time prior to the Sale. A person redeeming the delinquent property must make payment in certified funds to the Utah County Treasurer the total delinquent amount including taxes, interest, penalties and the administrative costs. Property may only be redeemed up to the time of the sale. Once the auction has begun, no redemption can be made. Utah State law does not allow for a post sale redemption period.

County Ordinance 21-5-4. Prohibition of Collusive Bidding. Collusive bidding is prohibited, and all bids submitted and the tax deed issued thereafter will only be executed in the name of an individual successful purchaser. Collusive bidding is defined as any agreement or understanding reached by two (2) or more parties that changes the bids the parties would otherwise offer absent the agreement or understanding. The County Clerk/Auditor and/or the Board of County Commissioners have the right to reject any bid deemed collusive. (Ord. No. 1996-07, 04-30-96; Ord. No. 2000-11, 04-11-2000)

5. How do I register for the Tax Sale?Click on heading for answer.

You may register online prior to the sale. Online registration will open at least 4 weeks prior to the sale and then close by 5 pm the day before the sale. Individuals may also register in person on the day of the sale. Bidder registration and check-in will begin at 9:00 am. There is no fee or deposit required to register.

6. What form of payment is accepted? Is there a financing plan?Click on heading for answer.

Utah County does not offer nor will it consider any request of financing on behalf of a winning bidder. The winning bidder on a parcel must pay the full amount of the final bid to the Utah County Treasurer's office within the time period required, usually at least 60 minutes, at the close of the bidding round. Any parcels not paid for on time will be auctioned off in the next bidding round. The Utah County Treasurer’s office located at 100 E Center St, Suite 1200 in Provo, which is located on the first floor of the Utah County Administration building across the street from the Tax Sale location. Utah County ordinance limits acceptable methods of payment to for properties purchased at the May Tax Sale to cash, certified check, or money order. No other forms of payment will be accepted. All transactions must be presented in person and concluded within with the period required after the close of the bidding round.

County Ordinance 21-5-6. Criteria for Accepting or Rejecting Bids. (g) Once the County Clerk/Auditor has closed the sale of a particular parcel of property as a result of accepting a bid on the parcel, the successful bidder or purchaser of the property may not unilaterally rescind the bid. The Board of County Commissioners, after the acceptance of a bid, may enforce the terms of the bid by obtaining a legal judgment against the purchaser in the amount of the bid, plus interest and attorney’s fees.

7. Does the County sell or issue Tax Liens as a result of the sale?Click on heading for answer.

Utah State law does not permit the sale of tax liens or tax lien certificates. This in accordance with Utah State Statute Title 59 Chapter 2 Section 1351.1. Successful bidders will be provided with a recorded tax deed, which is similar to a quit claim deed. Tax deeds will only be issued and recorded after the sale and all accepted bids have been ratified by the Utah County Commission, usually between 60 to 180 days after the close of the sale. This waiting period allows for any protest of the sale to be filed and decided prior to the ratification of the sale by the County Commission. Tax Deeds will be issued in the name of the winning bidder as listed on the bidder registration form. Individuals or businesses may register to bid at the sale.

County Ordinance 21-5-14. Disclaimers by the County with respect to Sale Procedures and Actions. (d) Due to the backlog of property transactions at the Utah County Recorder’s Office, Utah County has the right to delay the issuance of tax deeds for the annual real property tax sale, for a period of up to four months. (Ord. No. 1996-07, 04-30-96)

8. How the Auction proceeds-Bid-Up/Highest Bidder Bidding for Unimproved or Vacant PropertyClick on heading for answer.

Parcels offered for bid at the May Tax Sale are sold, at the discretion of the Clerk/Auditor conducting the sale, using two type of sale procedures; Bid Up (sold to the highest bidder) and Undivided Interest (lowest percentage of ownership share).

Unimproved or “vacant” parcels are sold to the highest bidder or via the Bid-Up process. The bidding will start with a minimum opening bid that includes taxes, penalties, interest, and the administrative cost of the sale. The bid amounts will continue to increase until the parcel up for sale is sold to the highest bidder. The end result of this type of sale is that the county will convey ownership from the previous owner to the winning bidder through the issueance and recording of a tax deed. Property conveyed by Tax Deeds are sold as is. Tthe winning bidder assumes all liablity for whatever condition the propety is in. The winning bidder also assumes all liability for all legal action that may need to be taken after the sale to ensure clean title to the property. When the propety being sold is a "killed" parcel, the winning bidder assume all tax liability for any past due taxes owing on the current or "active" parcel. At the sale these parcels can also be referred to as "parent/child" or "better described as" parcels.

Please note: The County Clerk/Auditor that administers the sale may use either procedure if he or she determines the chosen bid process more fully protects the interest of the property owner and the interest of the public. As per County Ordinance 21-5-6 Criteria for Accepting or Rejecting Bids.

9. How the Auction proceeds-Undivided Interest Bidding for Homes and other Improved PropertyClick on heading for answer.

Parcels offered for bid at the May Tax Sale are sold, at the discretion of the Clerk/Auditor conducting the sale, using two type of sale procedures; Bid Up (sold to the highest bidder) and Undivided Interest (lowest percentage of ownership share).

Improved parcels or parcels with homes or other buildings on them are sold for a percentage of the ownership share or Undivided Interest. The term "Undivided Interest" refers to the percentage of ownership the winner bidder will get in the complete or undivided parcel. Utah County does not subdivide parcels through the tax sale process. The bidding will start with an opening bid that includes taxes, penalties, interest, and the administrative cost of the sale for 100% of the undivided interest. As bidding continues, the percentage of ownership will be bid down. The winner bidder will be final remaining bidder who, for the amount of taxes, penalties, interest and fees due, accepts the lowest percentage of ownership in the property. The remaining percentage of ownership not sold will be retained by the original owner. At the end of the sale, the property will now have two owners. The original owner and the winning bidder will be co-owners of the property. This is in accordance with Utah Code 59-2-1351.1 and Utah County Ordinance 21-5-6. Winning bidders who purchase an undivided interest in a parcel should refer to Utah Code 59-2-1351.7 for further information about undivided interest.

Please note: The County Clerk/Auditor that administers the sale may use either procedure if he or she determines the chosen bid process more fully protects the interest of the property owner and the interest of the public. As per County Ordinance 21-5-6 Criteria for Accepting or Rejecting Bids.

10. How the Auction proceeds-Preferred Sale and Preferred Bidder StatusClick on heading for answer.

Utah County Ordinance 21-5-8 states the following:

21-5-8. Criteria for Granting Bidder Preference.

(a) At the discretion of the County Auditor a parcel of real property may be offered as a Preferred Sale to bidders who are granted Preferred Bidder Status as provided for herein.

(b) Preferred Sale” is the sale of a single, designated parcel of real property being offered for sale at the annual property tax sale in which;

(1) Only bidders that have been granted Preferred Bidder Status will be able to participate

(2) If no bids are received during the Preferred Sale, the sale of the designated parcel shall proceed under normal operating procedures (not a Preferred Sale) and all bidders, not otherwise disqualified, will be able to participate.

(c) A parcel may be offered as a Preferred Sale if it meets the following criteria:

(1) The parcel has been determined not to be an economically viable unit of property to other than a preferential interest based upon consideration of such characteristics as size, shape, access, zoning, or other factors that may affect the economic value and use of the parcel, or

(2) A non-preference sale of the parcel would create a nuisance and/or cloud upon an existing interest in the property and could unreasonably diminish the value of such an interest.

(d) “Preferred Bidder Status” may be granted to bidders who meet the following criteria:

(1) The bidder can demonstrate a possessory interest in the parcel being offered for Preferred Sale, or

(2) The bidder owns a parcel or parcels that abut the parcel being offered for Preferred Sale.

 

11. What ownership rights are granted with a Tax Deed?Click on heading for answer.

County Ordinance 21-5-14. Disclaimers by the County with respect to Sale Procedures and Actions. (a) Properties sold during the annual real property tax sale shall be conveyed by Tax Deed. This form of deed is not a warranty deed. The County makes no representations as to the title conveyed, nor as to the purchaser’s right of possession of the property. Similarly, the County makes no warranties or representations as to whether the property is buildable or developable, nor does the County make any representations regarding whether the property complies with applicable zoning regulations. The County does not warrant or represent that any property purchased during the Tax Sale is habitable or in any particular condition. The County also makes no warranties or representations regarding the accuracy of the assessment of the property or the accuracy of the description of the real estate or improvements thereon.

Any bidder who wishes to understand exactly what will happen when a Tax Deed is issued by the county for a specific property must consult their own legal counsel or title company. No employee or elected official of Utah County can provide any type of legal or non-legal advice related to the tax sale. Any information given by phone, mail, or email that conveys information beyond the scope of the procedures of the tax sale will be considered the unqualified personal opinion of the individual and does not officially represent the county's position.

12. What happens to the properties that are not sold at the Tax Sale?Click on heading for answer.

All unsold properties become the property of Utah County and are administered by the Public Works department. Currently there is no formal process for purchasing property that was unsold at the May Tax Sale and the county does not offer any type of “over the counter” property sales to the general public. The public auction is the only venue offered by the county for the purchase of property by individuals with no connection/qualifying interest* to the property. Individuals looking to purchase "investment" properties must attend the Tax Sale and bid on the properties they are interested in.

If you would like to make an inquiry about a specific unsold property, in which you have a qualifying interest*, you must contact the Public Works Department at 801-851-8600. The Public Works Director may entertain legitimate offers to purchase unsold tax sale properties for a reasonable value including all taxes and other costs related to the property. This offer would then be forwarded to the Utah County Commission for approval.

If you would like to see a list of properties that went to auction but did not sell you may go to http://www.utahcounty.gov/LandRecords/DocKoiForm.asp. Once at this site, type "ATD" in the Kind of Instrument (KOI) Search box. 

County Ordinance 21-5-13. Procedures for Disclosing Properties Withdrawn from the Sale for Reasons other than Redemption. Utah County shall have the right and authority to remove any parcel of property from the annual real property tax sale for any reason at any time before or during the sale. Disclosure will be made by the County Clerk/Auditor before or during the sale of all properties withdrawn from the sale for reasons other than redemption. (Ord. No. 1996-07, 04-30-96)

*Qualifying interest is defined by Utah County as an individual who owns or will own property that abuts, borders, or in someway is connected to the property that is owned by the county.

13. What happens when property is sold at the Tax Sale for more than the total amount due to the County?Click on heading for answer.

Any funds in excess of the amount for delinquent taxes, penalty, interest and administrative fees will be forwarded to the State Treasurer and treated as unclaimed property under Title 67. This process will take place after the sale has been ratified by the Utah County Commission and after any contested bids have been settled, if there are any. Utah County does not hold any unclaimed funds for longer than is necessary to ratify the tax sale. Utah County does not have any process through which a claim for overage funds can be made. Anyone wishing to initiate a claim for any overages from a past tax sale will need to contact the Utah State Treasurer's Office of Unclaimed property through their website mycash.utah.gov.

Listed below are all bid-up lists currently available electronically. These lists are only available to the public as PDFs. Requests for any other format will be denied. This is a 10 year rolling list only.

 

 

14. How do I get a list of results of a prior year's tax sale?Click on heading for answer.

Listed below are the results from previous tax sales. These lists are only available to the public as PDFs. Requests for any other format will be denied. This a is five year rolling list only.

 

 

15. Infomercial Form Letter Q & AClick on heading for answer.

From time to time, the Clerk/Auditor's Office receives infomercial based form letters asking the following questions. The following is a summary of those questions with answers:

  1. What is the date, time and location of your next tax sale? See FAQ #2 - When will the Tax Sale be held.
  2. When, where, and how are your tax sales advertised? See FAQ #3 - What newspaper is the Tax Sale advertised in?
  3. How and when do I register for your tax sale and is there a registration fee? See FAQ #5 - How do I register for the Tax Sale?
  4. What types of payment methods are required at the sale? See FAQ #6 - What form of payment is accepted? Is there a financing plan?
  5. Is payment in full required on the day of the sale? See FAQ #6 - What form of payment is accepted? Is there a financing plan?
  6. Does the County offer a financing program? No. See FAQ #6 What form of payment is accepted? Is there a financing plan?
  7. What type of document is issued at the sale? The successful bidder gets a receipt on the day of the sale. A tax deed is issued and recorded later. The Tax Deed will included the successful bidder's name and address, the property's legal description, and the amount paid.
  8. Once a property is acquired through your tax sale, is there a redemption period before one can take possession? There is no redemption period. Former owners of the property can file a formal written protest to the sale with the Utah County Commission up to 14 calendar days after the sale.
  9. Do you allow absentee bidding? No. All bidders must appear in person on the day of the sale to place a bid.
  10. What happens to the properties that do not sell at the auction and can they be purchased directly from the County? See FAQ #12. What happens to the properties that are not sold at the Tax Sale?
  11. Where can I find a current list of properties available for purchase? Delinquent property listings are posted on this website starting 4 weeks prior to the sale to coincide with the public notices published in the newspaper. Public notices will be published in either The Daily Herald, Deseret News, or Salt Lake Tribune starting 4 weeks prior to the sale. The notices will appear in either the Thursday, Friday or Sunday editions. Also see FAQ #12 - What happens to the properties that are not sold at the Tax Sale?
  12. Can you place me on your tax sale mailing list? We do not have a tax sale mailing list.
  13. If we end up with a property, does the county handle the foreclosure process? No. The Tax Sale is a buyer beware event. Utah County administers the sale of deliquent property. All other legal or real estate transactions after the sale are the sole responsiblity of the winning bidder.