When a property owner fails to pay taxes, the government can sell the owner’s property to collect delinquent taxes. This is done through a tax sale. Tax sales in PG County are published in newspapers for 4 consecutive weeks and are also published on the county website. The highest bidder for each listed property receives a tax certificate. The certificate holder has the right to foreclose on the property within two years of the tax sale.
The owner of the property can do one of the following to prevent foreclosure:
- Pay the delinquent taxes
The owner must pay for the tax sale amount plus any additional taxes, interest, and penalties that have accrued. Check out the Prince George’s County Property Tax Inquiry and Bill Payment System to verify total tax amount owed.
Taxes can be paid via cash, cashier’s check, money order, or credit card and mailed to:
Prince George’s County Administration Building
Office of Finance, Treasury Division
Attn: Tax Sale
14741 Governor Oden Bowie Drive , Room 1090
Upper Marlboro, MD 20772
If taxes are paid within four months of the sale, the legal fees are waived. After four months, the legal fees must be paid directly to the attorney listed on the property tax inquiry.
- Have the tax bill reduced
If an owner feels his or her tax bill is too high, the owner can challenge the tax assessor’s assessment of the property before the taxes become delinquent. If the owner knows the property was valued incorrectly he or she can verify if the following are listed correctly in the tax records:
- Square footage
- Use type (Is the use classified as residential?)
- Purchase price
- Year built
- Bedroom/bathroom count
- Assessed value compared to assessed value of similar homes in the neighborhood
If the owner knows the property value was assessed incorrectly, the owner can dispute the value by filing for an appeal. For more information visit the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation.
- Sell the property
The property can be sold if the owner does not have the money to pay the taxes, interest, penalties, and legal fees. Once the property is foreclosed, the owner will lose his or her home and receive nothing. If the owner decides to sell the property, the owner can get something from the sale. Call 877-263-1346 today to learn how much you can get to sell your home.
Remember, time is of the essence after a tax sale. The longer an owner waits the harder it may be to redeem his or her property. The winning bidder can start the foreclosure process 6 months from the tax sale date. If the winning bidder decides not to foreclose within two years, the certificate is void and the owner maintains his or her property. To learn more about the tax sale process go to Maryland Tax Property Code.