Tax Sale

Certificates of Delinquency

Every year in April the Sheriff's Office turns over the remaining unpaid tax bills for that year to the County Clerk.  They are then Certificates of Delinquency with additional penalties and fees added to the bills.  Each year the County Clerk's Office is responsible for conducting a tax sale on the delinquent tax bills.  During the tax sale, the delinquent tax bills are eligible to be purchased by a third party.  KRS 134.128 establishes that all tax sales shall be scheduled at least 90 days but no more than 135 days after the delinquent tax bills have been transferred from the Sheriff's Office to the County Clerk's Office.  County Clerk's who must sell delinquent oil and gas or unmined mineral tax bills have an additional 60 days to schedule their tax sale.   

The actual date of the sale will be determined by the Revenue Department and will be posted on their website www.revenue.ky.gov. The delinquent bills must be advertised no more than 45 days and no less than 30 days before the tax sale.

The 2016 delinquent tax bills were sold on September 20, 2017.

KRS 134.128(5) requires the County Clerk to advertise the Certificates of Delinquency schedule to be sold at the tax sale at least 30 days but not more than 45 dayes before the scheduled date.  The delinquent bills also must be listed on the internet web site at least 30 days prior to the tax sale date and updated on no less than a weekly basis.

Registration Process for Third Party Purchasers 

All third party purchasers who meet any of following conditions must register with the Department of Revenue before being allowed to participate in a tax sale.

  • Plans to buy more than 3 Certificates of Delinquency in any county;
  • Plans to buy more than 5 Certificates of Delinquency statewide; or
  • Plans to invest more than $10,000 statwide in any calendar year.

If a third party purchaser has questions about the registration process at the state level, they can go to the Department of Revenue's website www.revenue.ky/pages/index.aspx.  After selecting the "property tax" link they can obtain the most up to date information about the registration process.  

Once an application has been received and approved, a certificate of registration will be issued to the third party purchaser.  These certificates will indicate the date the third party purchaser is eligible to begin purchasing certificates of delinquency in a particular year.  A copy of the certificate issued by the Department of Revenue is required to be provided to the County Clerk's Office  when a third party purchaser - who meets the purchase thresholds - registers at the local level.  

The Department of Revenue will maintain a list of all approved third party purchasers on its website and on the County Clerk's network.  This list will also provide information about third party purchasers who are related to each other to help the County Clerk's prevent related parties from participating in their tax sale. 

All third party purchasers wishing to participate in a particular county's tax sale must complete a registration form and submit It along with all required and deposits to the County Clerk's Office by the date advertised.  .Our office has a registration form that we prefer third party purchaser use as it has the required format and information pertaining our particular tax sale.  The following items need to be submitted to the County Clerk's Office within 10 days prior to the tax sale date:

  • Our completed registration form
  • A copy of the registration certificate issued by the Department of Revenue
  • The list of priority certificates of delinquency intending to purchase (if any)
  • The list of current year certificates of delinquency the purchaser intends to acquire (if any)
  • The applicable registration fees; and
  • All applicable deposit amounts.    

Registration Fees

A registration fee up to a yearly maximum of $250.00 must be paid by a third party purchaser no matter when a certificate of delinquency Is acquired during the year.  For certificates of delinquency purchased at the tax sale, a fee of $5.00 for each certificate included on the purchaser's priority list and $10.00 for each certificate included on the purchaser's current year list must be paid at the time the lists are submitted.  Whenever the $250.00 maximum has been reached, no further registration fees can be charged until the next calendar year.

Priority Certificates of Delinquency

A deposit of 100% of the value of each priority certificate of delinquency is required from the third party purchaser.  

Current Year Certificates of Delinquency

A deposit of 25% of the total value of the certificates of delinquency on theses lists is required.

Refund of Registration Fees Paid to Participate at the Tax Sale

In some cases, a third party purchaser will wind up acquiring only a small number of certificates of delinquency at a tax sale.  County Clerk's are under no obligation to issue a refund of the registration fees.  In accordance with the governing regulation, the registration fee charged is a function of the number of certificates included on the third party purchaser's lists - not the number of certificates actually purchased at the tax sale. 

Purchasers are eligible to select only those certificates of delinquency included on the list of current year certificates of delinquency that have been submitted to the County Clerk,.