Property Tax Collection - Further Reading

About the Tax Division

The Tax Division receives the assessment and tax roll from the County Assessor in October each year and is responsible for mailing the tax statements and the subsequent processing of payments. Tax Payments are turned over to the County Treasurer for distribution to the taxing districts located in Deschutes County. In the event of non-payment of taxes by the statutory due date, the division is responsible for computing interest, mailing notices, filing tax warrants, initiating collection activity, and foreclosure proceedings. The division files claims for taxes in bankruptcy cases and works closely with the County Legal Department, It is also responsible for the collection of prepayments for plats, potential tax, certified personal property and manufactured structures.

Foreclosure proceedings, the process used to enforce collection of taxes on real property, begin with the mailing of delinquent notices on real property accounts that are three full years delinquent, followed by foreclosure letters mailed both regular first class and certified return receipt. A list of accounts that are not paid prior to August 16th is then published in a newspaper of general circulation in the County. The County's Legal Department handles the filing of the foreclosure judgment and decree. After judgment and decree is filed, anyone with a legal interest in the property has two years to redeem the property.

All property that is taxable and not classified as real or utility property is considered personal property. The taxes become delinquent whenever any installment is not paid on or before the due date. Personal property taxes are not foreclosed, but collected through mailing of delinquent notices, filing tax warrants, phone collections, and other means.

Adjustments to the tax roll through the updating of records and communications with the taxpayers are the responsibility of the Tax Division. Such adjustments are the result of action of the Oregon Tax Court, County Board of Property Tax Appeals, Oregon Department of Revenue or corrections by the County Assessor.

Property Values and the Appeals Process

If you have questions regarding the values on your tax statement, the Assessor's staff will be available to discuss the basis for the property's value with you.  You are encouraged to call the Assessor’s office at 541-388-6508 for assistance and speak with a qualified appraiser who will review your appraisal and answer any other questions you may have.

Valuation appeals may be filed from October 25 until December 31. Information pertaining to the appeal process is available on the back of the tax statement.  Petition forms to file your appeal are available at the County Clerk's Office.

Delinquent Taxes and the Foreclosure Process

If there is an unpaid balance for a prior tax year, the payment options listed on the front of the tax statement will include that amount as well as the current year's payment due. The total amount listed in the payment options must be paid in order to take advantage of any applicable discounts. If you would like to pay only the delinquent portion of you bill please contact our office to verify the amount.

FIRST THREE YEARS OF DELINQUENCY

Property taxes may be paid in full by November 15 or in three installments: November 15, February 15, and May 15.  Taxes on real property not paid on or before May 15 of the tax year in which they are billed are delinquent.  For example, taxes billed in October 2012 are delinquent if not paid by May 15, 2013. The first day of delinquency is May 16, 2013.

One year passes on May 16, 2014;
Two years pass on May 16, 2015;
Three year pass on May 16, 2016;

Real Property is subject to foreclosure three years after the first date of delinquency. 

Interest continues to accrue at 1.333% on the 16th of each month.

Personal Property becomes delinquent whenever a trimester payment is not paid on or before its due date (ORS 311.510).  Personal Property is not subject to foreclosure.

FORECLOSURE PROCESS

Real Property is subject to foreclosure three years after the first date of delinquency. 

Interest continues to accrue at 1.333% on the 16th of each month.

Personal Property becomes delinquent whenever a trimester payment is not paid on or before its due date (ORS 311.510).  Personal Property is not subject to foreclosure.

The Fall Tax Statement each year shows delinquent and current year taxes.

Beginning three years after the first date of delinquency you will receive additional notices informing you about the delinquency and the foreclosure process.

1st Notice - After May 15 - Delinquency - Informs you of the date which foreclosure proceedings will begin.
2nd Notice - After June 15 - Courtesy - Informs you of the required payment dates to avoid publication.
3rd Notice - After July 15 - Foreclosure - Mailed 30 days prior to publication, all properties with 3 years delinquent tax.

JULY 1 is the last day to pay these taxes with a personal check.

  • Payments made after this date must be in the form of cash, money order, or cashier's check. No personal or business checks will be accepted.

AUGUST 10th is the last day to pay to avoid publication of a delinquent tax in the paper of general circulation.

  • Publication can be avoided by paying the full tax and interest on the tax year causing the foreclosure.
  • The last day to pay and avoid the 5% penalty is August 10 by 5:00 p.m. The payment must be delivered by this time, not postmarked.  The property will be published unless payment is actually received.
  • At this date the only acceptable form of payment is cash, money order, or certified funds.

Publication will occur in the month of August, in the Bend Bulletin, and a penalty of 5% will be assessed on the total amount published (all delinquent taxes plus interest). Publication includes the name of the property owner, contract buyer, property identification, tax years of delinquency, amount of tax and interest.  At the time of publication, County Counsel files an application for General Judgment with the Circuit Court.

  • At any time up until General Judgment is received (approximately 30 days after publication), the property may still be removed from the foreclosure process by paying at least the year(s) taxes and interest which initiated the foreclosure, plus the 5% penalty.
  • The only acceptable form of payment is cash, money order, or certified funds.

If you believe your property should not be part of the foreclosure process, you must file your answer with the court within 30 days of publication.

Judgment is granted from the Circuit Court not less than 30 days after the application is filed.  After Judgment is secured all years' tax, interest, and penalties must be paid to redeem the property.

Two Year Redemption Period

Once the circuit court grants General Judgment, the two-year redemption period commences.

To release your property during this period you must pay:

  • Taxes and interest for all years shown in the Judgment.
  • The 5% penalty.
  • 9% interest annually on the judgment amount.
  • Plus either a $50.00 redemption fee assessed in the first year of redemption OR a fee for a Lien and Encumbrances Report completed during the second year.
  • Partial payments cannot be accepted.

Only the following persons can redeem the property:

  • Person(s) with recorded legal interest in the property at the date of judgment.
  • An heir or devisee of person(s) with a legal interest in the property.
  • A holder of a lien of record on the property (i.e. mortgage company).

During the two-year redemption period no value or name change should occur.  The owner listed in the judgment has the right of possession during the redemption period.  If the property is damaged or destroyed in any way during the period of redemption, it may be immediately acquired by the tax collector.

NOT LATER THAN ONE YEAR BEFORE THE REDEMPTION PERIOD EXPIRES: Notification is sent to all person(s) with a legally recorded interest in the property. The tax collector is responsible for providing this notice, by regular and certified mail, noting the date the period of redemption will end. Title companies provide reports to identify the lien holders that are notified. Actual cost of the litigation reports will be charged to the property.

Acquires Deed

At the end of the two year redemption period, the Tax Collector deeds the property to the county, at which time all taxes, interest, and penalties are canceled.  Once the property has been deeded to the county, the taxpayer's ownership, as well as any vested interest holder rights, are terminated. Once acquired, the property becomes part of the county's land and can be sold at public auction to the highest bidder.  For auction information please refer to the Property and Facilities department.

For any other questions regarding the foreclosure process contact the tax department by phone at 541-388-6540 or by email at taxoffice@deschutes.org