Delinquent tax sale postponed to April

The tax delinquency sale scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 28, has been postponed to April 28, after a unanimous vote tonight at a special Unified Government Commission meeting.

The vote also included postponement of a planned January 2022 tax sale to April 28 in 2022. The postponements will allow some residents additional time to figure out how they can make arrangements with the property they have, UG Administrator Doug Bach said.

All the properties in the two tax sales will be moved to April 28, according to Bach.

The issue was brought to the commission by 1st District Commissioner Gayle Townsend, who made the motion to postpone the tax sales. The commission voted 9-0 to approve it.

Commissioner Townsend advised those who have delinquent tax properties to call the UG delinquent tax office and work with the staff to get out of the situation and to preclude further situations. Anyone who gets delinquency notices should take some action, not do nothing, she said.

Townsend said she supported Commissioner Melissa Bynum’s idea of the UG providing an educational fact sheet to delinquent taxpayers outlining the steps they could take.

The delinquent tax sale has been a recent topic of controversy here. Two organizations, WyCo Mutual Aid and the Groundwork Northeast Revitalization Group, have been working to help senior citizens and indigent persons who might lose their homes at a tax sale. The tax sale could have resulted in more homeless persons in the community.

Wendy Green, UG attorney, explained that under the law, it was better to postpone the tax sale for all properties on the list than to select a few. State laws require fair and equitable taxes. She said the UG cannot stop additional interest or fees from accumulating during the ensuing months until April.

Green said out of the 707 delinquent parcels originally in the current tax sale, as of 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, there were only 186 parcels left in the sale. Out of the 186, there were 44 houses, 136 vacant lots, two were exempt properties owned by a church but had past due taxes before they became tax exempt, and four were commercial properties, she said.

Delinquent taxpayers still would have had Wednesday to pay their taxes in full or to go on a payment plan, she added.

Since they flagged the properties to go into the Thursday tax sale, they have collected $1.057 million in taxes, Green said. Once people find out their property has been flagged for a tax sale, they come in and pay, she said.

For the January 2022 sale, they started with 550 parcels, and there are now 362 left, Green said. Of those, 225 are houses, 127 are vacant lots, one is exempt, eight are commercial properties and one is commercial and residential. They have already brought in $482,332 in taxes, she said. Those numbers would have decreased closer to the tax sale, she added.

Green said she would guess that a lot of the 225 houses were people who had been on payment plans before, had defaulted on the payment plans, and now were back on the tax sale list.

Bach said they work to find a way for people to maintain their property. The end goal is for the person to stay in their property, he added.

Jenna Hillyer, delinquent tax manager, explained the process leading up to the tax sale. Often there are years of being delinquent leading up to the property being placed in the tax sale. Those whose property has been placed in the tax sale are notified by certified mail or by process servers.

There are six bills that arrive for the property owner before the bill is considered tax delinquent, she said. After one year, a delinquent vacant or abandoned structure becomes eligible for the tax sale, and after two years, a vacant lot or commercial building becomes eligible for the tax sale. At three years delinquent, occupied structures become eligible for a tax sale, she said.

Properties on a payment plan, in bankruptcy and in probate are removed from the tax sale list, according to Hillyer. Taxes will accrue with interest and penalties during that time, she added.

There are a number of options available to taxpayers who are delinquent, according to Hillyer. They may sign up for a payment plan with the UG. If they need a more customized payment plan, they can see a district court judge to make other payment arrangements.

Wendy Green, UG attorney, explained that under the law, it was better to postpone the tax sale for all properties on the list than to select a few. State laws require fair and equitable taxes. She said the UG cannot stop additional interest or fees from accumulating during the ensuing months until April.

“We could be dealing with this for years to come, the same very issue,” Commissioner Harold Johnson said.

Mayor David Alvey said they need to ask staff to come up with some remedies that can be presented at a later meeting. He said that WyCo Mutual Aid and Groundworks went door-to-door and discovered seniors and fixed-income residents who may lose their homes in a tax sale, and that may be something the UG staff may need to find a mechanism to do the same thing. Mayor Alvey said they do need to collect the taxes, but if they can tweak the process to stop people from losing their homes from happening in the future, they should do that.

Alvey said there is proposed legislation in the Kansas Legislature that would assist seniors and fixed-income residents who may face losing their homes because of property tax sales.

Commissioner Bynum said the Kansas Housing Resource Corp. is reportedly planning to expand the Kansas Emergency Rental Assistance program to provide mortgage, tax and utility assistance in the future to homeowners as well as renters. That assistance, when the program starts, would cover mortgage and tax assistance, Commissioner Bynum said.

She encouraged individual homeowners who had COVID-related difficulties to monitor the KHRC website for future assistance. The program was expected to accept homeowner applications by the end of the year. That website is

More information about tax delinquencies and what can be done about it is at

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