Property tax snafu ... during property purchase!

Started by JRR, April 14, 2009, 04:32:35 PM

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This probably will never happen to you younger, more alert, folks ... but just in case, ... beware!

I purchased a forclosed property from HUD last September.  I expected HUD to be billed for city and county taxes for 8 months of the year ... and I would be billed for the smaller remaining amount.  It don't work that way!   My "small" tax bill never showed up, so I make a trip to the tax office to find out what's going on?  (It turns out the reason I never got a tax bill was because the closing attorney did not list my correct mailing address ... but that's not really relevant ... I really "went to sleep" on this issue!)

Now, after going through an imbarrassing learning experience in the tax office, I know how it works:  At closing, the property tax from Jan 1-to-closing date is estimated and held back in the money that the buyer gives to the seller.    Its certainly fair ... and its right there in the bill of sale ... but it certainly can be confusing.

Therefore (at least in Georgia), At closing the buyer walks away responsible for the full year of taxes!

The price of this little lesson, in late fees, .... about $300!

glenn kangiser

That's a nasty little surprise, JRR.  Thanks for the heads up.
"Always work from the general to the specific." J. Raabe

Glenn's Underground Cabin

Please put your area in your sig line so we can assist with location specific answers.


Also, consider all of this can vary by state and even county. 


I find it's best to put the wife in charge of stuff like this. That way if something goes wrong I can blame her.

Mike 870

Yes, tax proration. It's done different all over the place.  In Ohio almost all counties do long proration, and my county does short proration.  When I sold my property the buyer was from out of town, and their title company had got it wrong.  It caused quite a mess.  We also pay our taxes in the rear, meaning when I get my bill in July, I will be paying for half of my 08 property taxes.  Wierd.