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The annual tax sale will take place on Thursday, December 28, 2023 in the County Board room on the Third Floor of the Rock Island County Office Building which is located at 1504 Third Avenue in Rock Island, Illinois. The sale will begin at approximately 9 am.
The annual tax sale - legally mandated and governed by state law - is part of the Illinois property tax system. In Illinois, the property tax is the single largest source of local taxes. Selling taxes helps the various taxing bodies (schools, villages, parks, townships, libraries, public health and safety agencies, etc.) meet their financial commitments. For property owners, the financial consequence of having property taxes sold generally exceeds the cost of paying the tax. If a property owner's taxes are sold, fees and costs rise substantially. The combination of the high cost of redemption and the potential of losing property is the enforcement mechanism that Illinois employs-and that other states employ with similar methods. If taxes are sold, the taxing agencies receive the full amount of taxes due from the successful tax buyer, plus county penalties and a number of county fees that have been established by state law for meeting the costs of conducting tax sales. The delinquent tax portion of the money is distributed to local taxing bodies and is available for their budgetary needs. When taxpayers eventually redeem taxes, their funds reimburse the tax buyers. If the taxpayer fails to redeem, the certificate of tax purchase may be used to seek a tax deed or can be sold to another party who may pursue a tax deed.
There are a number of required steps leading up to the Annual Tax Sale:
The Treasurer's Office runs the annual tax sale. The Clerk's Office also has an official role in recording the transactions in the Annual Tax Judgment, Sale, Redemption and Forfeiture Record. The Clerk's Office has the primary role in post-sale activities relating to notice of sale, tax searches, payment of other delinquencies, and all of the steps leading up to a petition for tax deed.
A tax buyer is a registered and qualified bidder at the tax sale, and is the legal entity to which Certificates of Purchase will be issued on successful bids. Registered tax buyers can be a partnership, a limited liability partnership (LLP), a corporation (LLC), a charitable organization (501(c)(3)), or an individual.
The last day to pay Rock Island County Real Estate Taxes in person will be December 28, 2022. If paid by mail, the payment must be received by 8:30 am on Thursday morning, December 29, 2022.
Yes. By state law, there is a $10 publication fee on top of any late penalties due.
The delinquency list is available for public inspection in the Treasurer's Office. Copies are also available for sale through the Treasurer's Office for $100 per list, after notices have been published in area newspapers.
Unlike most other auctions, the annual sale is a strange auction because bids are not made in cash amounts and taxes are not sold to the highest bidder. The bidding process is designed to ensure that taxpayer/owners will be able to redeem their taxes at the lowest possible interest rate. When a taxpayer redeems their taxes from a tax buyer, they pay the amount paid by the tax buyer at the sale, plus interest. At the annual tax sale, it is on this rate of interest that tax buyers bid. The person who bids the lowest rate of interest (between 0% and 18%) will win a bid. The amount of money to be paid for the lien on taxes is not in question at the annual tax sale: the tax buyer must always pay the entirety of the delinquent taxes, along with costs and interest.
Tax buyers can register in the Treasurer's Office. Registration begins approximately ninety (90) days before the sale commences and ends ten business days prior to tax sale date.
In order to register for the annual sale, tax buyers must present the Rock Island County Treasurer's Office with the following at least 10 business days before the sale:
There is a “Related Bidding Entry” rule that limits to 3; those bidding entities from simultaneously participating in the sale. The reason for this is so that the same entity does not have more than three bidders at the same time, thus increasing the likelihood of its obtaining a parcel in the auction. Essentially, a related bidding entity is a tax buyer who has an ownership interest or contractual relationship with any other registrant at the tax sale. Participants can only submit one registration, per FEIN Number. The determination of whether registered entities are related, must be self-disclosed on the registration form. Enforcement is at the discretion of the Rock Island County Treasurer.
The County Officer Property Sale Act prohibits Rock Island County employees, their employees, their relatives (spouse or child), and their representatives from all tax sales: “No county officer, and no person employed by, or who is a relative or representative of, any county officer in the State of Illinois, while in office or holding office or while in such office or employment, shall have, possess or acquire any pecuniary interest, directly, indirectly or beneficially, or by any derivative process, in any real estate tax forfeiture or foreclosure in the county in which such county officer presides, other than the fee provided by law for the official duties of any such county officer in such proceedings. For purposes of this Section "relative" shall be defined as a spouse or child, or the spouse of a child, including a child by adoption.” Violation of this provision is a class B misdemeanor. Aside from these restrictions, and the restrictions naturally implied by the registration process (e.g., the sale is restricted to people who have completed applications within the appropriate time frame), bidding is relatively unrestricted.
The tax buyer does not have to purchase the subsequent taxes. It is necessary to do so, however, in order to proceed to tax deed.
In order to receive the certificate of purchase, the tax buyer must pay for the following:
Each annual sale purchase carries the following costs:
Delinquent property taxes that are not picked up by the buyers at the sale are sold to the Rock Island County Trustee. A tax sale to the Trustee does not actually change the legal status of the parcel; it merely signifies that the tax lien remains with Rock Island County.