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Difference Between a Tax Lien Sale and a Special Assessment Tax Lien Certificate of Sale in Douglas County, Nevada

Often the term “tax lien” and “tax lien certificate” are used interchangeably.  However these are different types of legal instruments that convey different rights.  Douglas County, Nevada sells both types.

Douglas County Nevada (which includes the southeastern portion of Lake Tahoe , Stateline and Zephyr Cove, as well as Minden/Gardnerville/Carson Valley) is one of very few Nevada counties that sells tax lien certificates.

The Treasurer of Douglas County represents that a tax lien certificate is a Certificate of Sale note issued on a property that is sold for non payment of a special assessment.  Special assessments differ from taxes.  Real property taxes are not special assessments.

According to Douglas County,

A large portion of special assessments are for road and sewer improvements. These special assessments are often billed in installments of 10-20 years. In addition, there are special assessments utility billings. These particular assessments are usually billed as one installment on your annual property tax bill. We have several taxing authorities that submit special assessments to the county for collection.

So, a tax lien certificate of sale would only come about due to a failure of a landowner to pay their special assessments, and not the property tax.  For information on how a tax lien and subsequent auction occurs, read more here.

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