Connecticut General Statutes Secs. §12-155 and §12-157 outline the parameters for collection of taxes and method of selling real estate for taxes.
What is a Tax Sale?
A tax sale is a public auction of property conducted by a municipal entity which applies the proceeds against unpaid taxes or similar assessments owed. The sale can be conducted on any real estate owned by an individual or organization which has failed to pay any kind of tax, sewer charge, or similar debt (whether it was assessed on that real estate or not) owed to a city, town, borough, district, or other municipal authority
Before a Tax Sale
Three delinquent notices are mailed during a 2–12 week period.
Three notices are placed in a local newspaper.
Notice with photos is posted near the Town Clerk’s office.
Tax Sale date is set.
Minimum bid set by the municipality. Bid based on total delinquency (principal, interest, fees due, cost of auction, jeopardy acceleration of subsequent installments).
At a Tax Sale
Public bids on properties.
Highest bidder (winning bid) will become the purchaser subject to redemption rights.
No guarantees made to winning bidder. Property is sold “as is.”
After a Tax Sale
Winning bidder pays bid. Left over money deposited in bank account. Municipality earns the interest on any excess proceeds.
Notice identifying winning bidder and price is sent to owner and other entities who have a legal interest in the property.
Notice published in a local newspaper.
Tax Collector signs deed transferring property to the winning bidder. Deed held in the Town Clerk’s office for six months.
Taxpayer still owns and uses the property. Winning bidder cannot enter, alter or sell the property.
Undoing (Redeeming) a Tax Sale
Tax Sale can be “undone” (redeemed) before six months pass if owner or other entity with interest in the property pays off total delinquency (as of the sale date) including cost of the auction.
Owner or other entity pays 1.5% interest per month to winning bidder on amount bid plus additional debt owed to the municipality not recovered by the auction procedure.
Winning bidder gets original deposit and amount bid back. Owner keeps property.
Notice mailed to interested parties that Tax Sale has been undone.
After Six Months if not Redeemed
Deed signed by Tax Collector officially recorded by the Town Clerk’s office in the land records.
Winning bidder owns the property “free and clear” of other liens and encumbrances subject to certain exceptions.
Most other interests in the property are wiped out including mortgages, liens, other monetary encumbrances.
Left over money from winning bid sent to local superior court after any other deductions.
Former owner and other entities with recorded interest in the property have 90 days to apply for a share of the money.
Court decides how to distribute.
Winning bidder not allowed to request part of the money.
Winning bidder must evict “holdovers” by legal method.
For additional information click here.
This summary is for general informational use only. It is not financial or legal advice, and it does not interpret or modify applicable law. Since municipalities cannot represent you or your interests, you should consult with your own lawyer about how tax sales work and what your rights and duties are.
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Telephone: 203-622-7891Fax: 203-618-7654EmailReturn to the Tax Collector page
Office hours are Monday - Friday 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. Window hours are Monday - Friday 8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
To check online to see if your Real Estate, Motor Vehicle or Personal Property tax has been paid click here.
A mill is equal to $1.00 of tax for each $1,000 of assessed value. To calculate property tax, multiply the assessment of the property by the mill rate and divide by 1,000. For example, real estate with an assessed value of $665,000 ($950,000 true and actual value) located in a municipality with a mill rate of 11.682 would be taxed at $7,768.53 per year. A motor vehicle with an assessed value of $19,600 ($28,000 true and actual value) located in a municipality with a mill rate of 11.682 would be taxed at $228.97.
During May of each year the Greenwich Board of Estimate and Taxation determines the mill rate for the upcoming fiscal year. (By statute, all Connecticut cities and towns have a uniform fiscal year which runs from July 1 through the following June 30.) (CGS 7-383). The mill rate is determined by dividing the amount of revenue required by the Town (determined during the January through May budget process) by the total assessed value of all taxable property. Under Connecticut law assessed value of property must be 70% of present true and actual value. (CGS 12-62a)
Tax bills due July 1 must be paid on or before August 1 to avoid interest. Tax bills due January 1 must be paid on or before February 1 to avoid interest. If the final day to pay is a Saturday, Sunday or Holiday payment may be made without interest the following business day.
Real Estate tax is due in two installments on July 1 and the following January 1. Motor vehicle and personal property tax is due in one installment on July 1. Supplemental motor vehicle tax (initial registration of a motor vehicle after October 1 and before the following August 1) is due in one installment on January 1.
Failure to receive a tax bill does not exempt you from liability. (CGS 12-130) Late payment is subject to interest at the rate of 1.5% per month, 18% per annum from the due date of the bill. (CGS 12-146) Other costs may be associated with late payment. Minimum interest is $2.00. Returned check fee is $25.00. For information on outstanding bills please call the Tax Collector office at 203-622-7891.
There are two ways to pay online:
Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT): A receipt confirmation of payment will be generated. There is a convenience fee of $0.95 (95 cents) per transaction. The convenience fee goes directly to the vendor. It does not go to the Town of Greenwich.
Credit Card: A receipt confirmation of payment will be generated. There is a convenience fee of 2.95% per transaction. The convenience fee is determined by the amount of the payment. The convenience fee goes directly to the vendor. It does not go to the Town of Greenwich.
Examples of credit card convenience fee. If the tax bill is:
$100/The additional fee is $2.95$500/The additional fee is $14.75$1,000/The additional fee is $29.50$5,000/The additional fee is $147.50$10,000/The additional fee is $295.00
To pay tax online click here.
Tax on motor vehicles that were registered on or before October 1, 2018 with the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will be due in full on July 1, 2019. (Payment covers October 1, 2018 - September 30, 2019.) Outstanding bills accrue interest at the rate of 1.5% per month. The minimum due amount due is $2.00.
Tax on motor vehicles that were registered after October 1, 2018 (called supplemental motor vehicles) with the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will be due in full on January 1, 2020. (Payment covers date of registration - September 30, 2019.) Outstanding bills accrue interest at the rate of 1.5% per month. The minimum amount due is $2.00.
Address change for motor vehicles must be done through the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles. (DMV)
Your address cannot be changed by the Tax Collector office or the Assessor office.
If you do not change your address you may not receive a future tax bill or registration renewal notice.
Registration cancellation for motor vehicles must be done through the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles. (DMV) Once the registration is cancelled please notify the Assessor office at 203-622-7885 (email@example.com) so the tax liability may be adjusted.
An adjustment can be made if your motor vehicle was sold, totaled, junked, registered out-of-state, stolen and not recovered or donated during the assessment period. Contact the Assessor office at 203-622-7885 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
If your name has been reported to the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) as being delinquent in payment of motor vehicle tax, you will not be able to register or renew the registration of any motor vehicle until full tax payment is made. If you need an immediate DMV release, payment must be made in cash at the Tax Collector office. If you pay by check there is a 10 day waiting period.
Motor vehicle tax is due to the municipality where you lived on October 1. You will receive a bill that is due the following July 1. You pay the town where you resided on October 1.
Multiple tax bills may be paid with one check. Please list each bill number on the check.
The Town of Greenwich offers property tax relief for senior residents 65 and older who meet annual income requirements. The filing period is February 1 - May 15 each year. For more information contact the Assessor office at 203-622-7885 (email@example.com).
The Town of Greenwich offers a tax exemption for veterans who meet certain requirements. For more information contact the Assessor office at 203-622-7885 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Abatement: To decrease in amount or value; the process of reducing or eliminating tax which would normally be due and payable. (CGS 12-124) (CGS 12-124a)
Assessment/Assessed Value: The amount of value placed by the Assessor on real or personal property. Under Connecticut statute assessed value of property must be 70% of present true and actual value. (CGS 12-62a)
Budget-Making Authority: The municipal body which prepares the annual budget and calculates the mill rate. In Greenwich that body is the Board of Estimate and Taxation.
Delinquent: Tax debt upon which payment is in arrears. A tax bill is delinquent when it has not been paid by August 1, or has exceeded the statutory grace period. (CGS 12-146)
Demand Notice: Request for payment when taxpayer fails to pay. (CGS 12-155)Exemption: Reduction or elimination of tax on certain types of property or persons. (CGS 12-81)Grand Levy: Also known as Tax Levy. The amount of money to be raised through property tax to balance a town budget. Calculated by multiplying the Grand List by the Mill Rate.Interest: 1.5% per month or part thereof calculated from the due date. (CGS 12-145)Lien: A legal charge upon real estate or personal property for the satisfaction of a debt. (CGS12-173) (CGS 12-175)Mill: A unit of monetary measure equal to one thousandth of a dollar.Mill Rate: Determined by dividing the Grand Levy (amount of revenue required) by the Grand List (total assessed value of all taxable property). Rate is then applied to taxable property.Municipality: A political unit of local self-government.Rate Bill: A document which contains the proportion which each individual is to pay according to the assessment list. Specifies mill rate and installment due dates if not set by ordinance.Rate Book: Listing of tax due from each taxpayer.Refund: Return of monies erroneously collected or overpaid. Must be applied for in writing no later than three years from the date such tax was due. (CGS 12-129)Supplemental Motor Vehicle Tax: Tax on vehicles registered after October 1 and before August 1 the following year.Tax: Each property tax or installment, as increased by interest, penalties, fees and charges. (CGS 12-146)Tax Levy: Also known as Grand Levy. The amount of money to be raised through property tax to balance a town budget. Calculated by multiplying the Grand List by the Mill Rate.
Tax Sale: A tax sale is a public auction of property conducted by a municipal entity which applies the proceeds against unpaid taxes or similar assessments owed. (CGS 12-157)Tax Warrant: A legal instrument issued by the governing body of the municipality which empowers the Tax Collector to demand and collect payment of tax as set in the rate book for the year concerned. (CGS 12-132)Uniform Fiscal Year: July 1 - June 30. (CGS 7-382)