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Tax Sale Resources

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Tax Sale Information

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State Summary

Utah is a deed state, but it’s not a very good state to invest in for two reasons. First properties are at least four years delinquent before they are sold at the tax sale. Secondly, state law allows for two different bidding procedures, one of which is not advantageous to the investor. Either the amount of the deed is bid up, starting at what is owed for back taxes and penalties and the highest bid is accepted, or the percentage of the property is bid down. In this instance the successful bidder is the one that bids the full amount of taxes owed for the smallest portion of the entire parcel.

Each May, the county treasurer (or in some counties, the county auditor) conducts a sale of properties that are at least 5 years delinquent. The properties to be sold are advertised in a newspaper approximately four weeks prior to the sale. Registration prior to the sale, along with a written sealed first bid accompanied by certified funds for an amount of the minimum bid, may be required in order to bid. The minimum bid amount consists of the total accrued taxes, interest, penalties, costs, and all accrued assessments and charges that have been certified as a lien against the property. All properties not withdrawn or redeemed before the sale, and for which no bid is offered, will be struck off to the county.

Collusive bidding is prohibited. (Which is the law in most states, both tax deed and tax lien states) Bid sheets must be completed and money paid immediately after being declared the successful bidder. Failure or refusal to submit funds will result in the bidder being banned from both further bidding and participation in future tax sales. The successful bidder will receive a receipt on the day of the sale. A tax deed will be issued later with the bidder’s name and address, the property’s legal description, and the amount paid. There is no redemption period and there is no absentee bidding allowed.

Many Utah counties have their tax sale info online; it’s just a matter of knowing where to look. Sometimes it’s posted on the treasurer’s website and sometimes (as it is with Salt Lake County) it is on the county auditor’s website. Some counties do have over the counter deeds available. You can find links to the county treasurer’s web sites within this website.

Summary courtesy of Joanne Musa's State Guide