Over a year after the second half property taxes are not paid the property is put in Tax Title. If the Town does not put the property in Tax Title which places a lien on the property the Town cannot recover the taxes.
For individuals with their primary residence in the Town of Yarmouth, the Town makes significant efforts including offering debt counseling and identifying non profits that may offer assistance. For the elderly, blind and disabled veterans they are able to take advantage of tax exemptions. The elderly can also postpone their taxes for the entire time they live in their home. The tax payment less tax exemptions must be paid after the individual no longer lives in their home.
In order to avoid the Town paying attorney's fees that can be $3,000 or more to foreclose on the property the Town auctions the tax titles to a 3rd party. The property is not being auctioned, the right to collect the taxes, interest due on the taxes and the attorney and other fees to collect the taxes are being auctioned. The Town gets 100% of the taxes, interest and fees up to the date of the auction. These dollars are available to pay for the cost of government reducing the need to increase taxes. A property owner does not lose their property as part of auctioning the tax title. The property owner, however, will pay a 3rd party, not the Town.
The Town typically conducts its tax title auctions August of every year.
The Town cannot auction the tax titles of certain properties because of unclear ownership, the previous owner took advantage of a tax deferral or the 3rd party does not consider the property to have an economic value as is the case of unbuildable lots. The Town must still proceed to foreclosure on those properties.