Published on March 14th, 2023

What Happens If You Don't Pay Your Property Taxes?

Spoiler Alert! It's not good...

Aventine Properties | 3 min read

If you don't pay your property taxes in New York State, you're going to find yourself in some deep trouble. See, property taxes fund the local government and schools and are collected by your Receiver of Taxes—so if you don’t pay, the tax authority can put a “lien” on your property. The “lien” means that they have the legal right to collect unpaid taxes from you. If it gets this far and you still can’t or won’t pay the tax bill, they can actually start a foreclosure proceeding against your property.

Foreclosure, as it pertains to delinquent taxes, is a legal process that lets the government take ownership of your property and sell it to recuperate the unpaid taxes. If your property is sold, the money will first be used to pay off the taxes owed, as well as any interest and penalties that you may have accrued. If there are any additional liens on the property, those are prioritized next, but if there happens to be any money left over, it will end up back in your pocket. On the other hand, if the sale doesn't cover all the debts, you may still not be in the clear.

Not paying property taxes in New York State can also screw up your credit score. Unpaid taxes can be reported to credit bureaus and hurt your credit rating, making it harder to get loans or credit later on. So, it's important to pay your property taxes on time to avoid these long-lasting consequences.

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File A Tax Grievance With Aventine Before the Deadline

If you find yourself in a position where you can't pay your property taxes, it’s important to act quickly— don't just sit there and hope it goes away! You can contact your local government, usually your Tax Collector/ Receiver of Taxes, and ask about payment options. They may be able to work out a payment plan or something else to help you out. You can also ask for information about exemptions that you may be eligible for, with some being based on income or other relevant factors, to ease your tax burden for future bills. The sooner you act, the better your chances are to avoid a lien or foreclosure.

Failing to pay property taxes in New York State can have severe consequences that may result in the loss of your property. It is important to pay your property taxes on time to avoid tax liens and foreclosure proceedings. If you are unable to pay your property taxes, it is essential to contact your local government to discuss payment options and avoid further financial damage.

The good news is, the fact that you are reading this means that you are either being proactive or taking control of your situation! You may also want to consider grieving your property taxes to decrease your tax bill as much as you can. Remember that the earlier you grieve, the fewer tax bills you will be overpaying on! Grieving your taxes as often as you can is the only way to ensure your tax bill is at the lowest amount it can be. If you believe that you are overpaying in taxes, give us a call and we can help you get started in lowering those tax bills!