La Plata County Treasurer Allison Aichele published a list of property owners who have yet to pay their 2022 taxes in Wednesday’s edition of The Durango Herald. The list contains 666 properties – 614 parcels and 52 mobile homes – the owners of which owe a total of just over $1 million in delinquent taxes.
As in most years, a large portion of property owners will pay their 2022 taxes before the Nov. 1 deadline. The annual tax lien sale will begin Nov. 2.
Outstanding debt will be auctioned off to investors, and the proceeds will be used to cover the delinquent taxes. Property owners will then be responsible for compensating investors for the back taxes in addition to 15% annual interest.
The number of properties with outstanding tax bills is down from previous years, although the total sum of those bills rose dramatically. At this time last year, the treasurer was looking to collect more than $719,000 in outstanding taxes.
Aichele said that lenders are generally on top of paying property taxes so as to avoid the added cost of delinquency. However, her office received several calls from homeowners in the last week who discovered that their escrow accounts had not paid 2022 taxes.
This is uncommon, she said.
“Generally speaking, those that go to tax lien sale are homeowner-owned and therefore it's up to the homeowner to pay,” Aichele said.
Unlike last year’s list, a handful of individuals owe taxes on many properties.
Jeremy Luman and Ian Yaklich, the owners of 40 lots in the Forest Lakes subdivision, have outstanding tax payments of $153.73 on each lot, totaling $6,149.20.
There are also a handful of large delinquencies with outstanding debts, ranging from $15,000 to $30,000 or more.
“It's unusual to have so many big-ticket delinquencies,” Aichele said.
Mackeyco Ranch LTD, the owner of about 760 acres in Hesperus, takes the cake with the largest outstanding tax bill of over $36,000.
“Those are the things the investors want,” Aichele said. “The reason that we put these things in the paper and advertise them is so that people will pay them before they go to tax lien sale and incur that 15% interest penalty.”
The full list of delinquent taxes will run in the Oct. 4 and Oct. 11 print editions of the Herald. Property owners can submit payment up until noon on Nov. 1 to prevent their debt from being sold the following day.