The list of unpaid delinquent property taxpayers totaled over $6.9 million for 2020, according to a report posted online by Tooele County Treasurer Mike Jensen.
“This is roughly $2.5 million more than last year,” said Jensen.
Jensen said he suspects the COVID-19 pandemic may have something to do with the increase in delinquent taxes.
“I do know one of the larger state assessed properties is being affected by COVID and for this reason did not pay,” said.
Jensen said the county sent out 1,774 postcards to parcel owners on record for delinquent taxes.
In addition to sending out delinquent notices, the county is required to either post online or print in a local newspaper a list of delinquent property taxpayers on or before Dec. 31 of each year.
The list of Tooele County’s delinquent taxpayers for 2020 was not posted on the County Treasurer’s website by Thursday, Dec. 31, 2020. It was posted by the end of the next working day, Monday, Jan. 4, according to Jensen.
There was a timing issue in the treasurer’s office and the list wasn’t ready to be posted before the treasurer’s office closed on New Year’s Eve, according to Jensen.
As of Dec. 1, property taxes, if not paid, are considered delinquent and a penalty of the greater of 1% or $10 is assessed to all delinquent accounts.
Any balance that is not paid after Feb.1, 2021 — usually Jan. 31, but it falls on Sunday this year — the penalty increases to the greater of 2.5% or $10 plus interest of 7% on the balance as of Dec. 1.
State law gives property owners five years to pay back property taxes before the property may be sold at an auction.
As of Jan. 7, the number of property parcels with delinquent taxes dropped to 1,573.
When the certified property tax rate is set each year an adjustment is made for the five-year average of uncollected taxes. This allows the entities to prepare budgets without needing to make provision for uncollected taxes.