Delinquent Property Tax Enforcement

Delinquent property tax enforcement can help municipalities interrupt the cycle of decline and ensure problem properties end up in responsible hands to become neighborhood assets. However, most delinquent property tax enforcement systems are inequitable, ineffective, inefficient, and in need of reform.

Tax delinquency is the single greatest indicator of property distress. Tax delinquency can signal a failure to uphold other obligations of property ownership, including mortgage payment and property maintenance, and ultimately lead to property abandonment.   

Property taxes are typically the largest source of revenue for local governments. Delinquent taxes, therefore, result in the detriment of other services. It is crucial for local governments to use an equitable, efficient, and effective delinquent property tax enforcement process to transfer problem properties and fund services that support healthy, safe, and vibrant communities. 

Property tax enforcement processes are complex and vary both by and within states. The way these processes are defined by law and how they are enacted locally plays a large role in a community’s ability to fund public services, stabilize and strengthen neighborhoods, protect vulnerable property owners, and minimize the harm vacant, abandoned, and deteriorated properties pose to residents.  

A small red brick house in St. Louis.
Download our Delinquent Property Tax Enforcement Progress Points:
Delinquent Property Tax Enforcement Resources
Tax Lien Sales are Not a Vital Tool for Recovery; People Are

Not surprisingly, as local governments’ finances started to rebound after the Great Recession, we found a common desire in the field to end the sale of tax liens, as the inequities, harms, and false claims of increased revenue had become all too obvious to local government leaders and community groups.

Learn about reinstating more equitable collection and enforcement systems that center people while still meeting a community’s fiscal needs..

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0 billion
in residential property taxes is collected by local government cross the US.

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