What Happens If I Don't Pay Property Taxes in Nevada?

What happens if your Nevada property taxes are delinquent? You might eventually lose your home.

By , Attorney

People who own real property must pay property taxes. The government uses these taxes to pay for schools, public services, libraries, roads, parks, and the like. Typically, the tax amount is based on a property's assessed value.

When homeowners don't pay their property taxes, the overdue amount becomes a lien on the property. A lien effectively makes the property act as collateral for the debt. All states, including Nevada, have laws that allow the local government to sell a home through a tax sale process to collect delinquent taxes.

So, if your real property taxes in Nevada are delinquent, the county can eventually get the deed (title) to your home. But you'll have plenty of time to get paid up on the overdue amounts before this happens. However, if you don't pay the delinquent property taxes, the county can sell your home to a new owner at a tax sale.

When Are Nevada Property Taxes Due?

In Nevada, property taxes are due on the third Monday in August. But you can pay the taxes in installments if your taxes are more than $100.00. (Nev. Rev. Stat. §§ 361.482, 361.483.)

If you pay in installments, the payment schedule is:

  • the third Monday in August
  • the first Monday in October
  • the first Monday in January, and
  • the first Monday in March.

How Does Nevada Handle Property Tax Non-Payment?

When you don't pay your property taxes, the tax receiver will inform you that you must get current (see "Notice to the Nevada Homeowner Before Certification" below). If the amount owed isn't paid by 5 p.m. on the first Monday in June, the County Treasurer, as trustee for the state and county, gets a certificate that authorizes it to hold the property for two years. (Nev. Rev. Stat. §§ 361.570, 361.5648.)

During the two-year waiting period, called a "redemption period" (see below), you can pay off what you owe to save your home. If you don't get caught up, the county receives a deed to your home and can sell it to a new owner. (Nev. Rev. Stat. § 361.590.).

Notice to the Nevada Homeowner Before Certification

Before issuing a certificate to the county, the tax receiver must mail you a notice within 30 days after the first Monday in March. This notice lets you know that the county treasurer will get the certificate subject to the two-year redemption period if you don't get paid up. (Nev. Rev. Stat. § 361.5648.)

A notice will also be published in a newspaper or posted publicly if the county doesn't have a newspaper. The notice is also put on a website. (Nev. Rev. Stat. § 361.565.)

Redemption Period After the Certificate Is Issued

The redemption period before the county can sell your home at a tax sale is two years after the certificate is issued. (However, the redemption period for an abandoned property is one year.) (Nev. Rev. Stat. §§ 361.5648, 361.570.)

During the redemption period, you get the right to pay off the debt and prevent a tax sale, called "redeeming" the home.

Nevada law also says you can redeem up until 5:00 p.m. on the third business day before the day of the sale by a county treasurer. (Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 361.585.)

How Much It Costs to Redeem Your Property in Nevada

To redeem your home, you must pay the taxes, penalties, costs, and interest on the taxes at the rate of 10% per year. (Nev. Rev. Stat. § 361.5648.)

Notice Before the Redemption Period Expires

The receiver must send you a notice at least 60 days before the redemption period expires. (Nev. Rev. Stat. § 361.5648.)

Notice Before the Tax Sale Happens in Nevada

The county must send you a notice by certified mail at least 90 days before the sale takes place. At least 20 days before the sale, notice must also be posted publicly, including one notice at the courthouse and one on the property, or published in a newspaper. (Nev. Rev. Stat. § 361.595.)

How a Nevada Property Tax Sale Works

If you don't redeem the property, the receiver issues a deed to the county treasurer as trustee for the state and county, and the county may then sell the property. (Nev. Rev. Stat. §§ 361.590, 361.595.)

The tax sale is usually a public auction where the home is sold to the highest bidder. The winning bid must be at least as much as the amount of taxes, costs, penalties, and interest due. (Nev. Rev. Stat. § 361.595.)

If the county sells your home at a tax sale, you might be able to get your home back by filing a lawsuit to protest the sale. However, you'll be able to do this only if you have a valid reason to dispute the sale.

You must file the suit within two years after the new owner gets a deed (title) to the home. (Nev. Rev. Stat. § 361.600.) Talk to a lawyer if you want to get your home back after a new owner receives a deed to the property.

What Happens to My Mortgage in a Tax Sale?

Because a property tax lien has priority, mortgages (and deeds of trust) get wiped out if you lose your home through a tax sale process. So, If your loan isn't escrowed and you fail to pay the property taxes like you're supposed to, the loan servicer will usually advance money to pay delinquent property taxes to prevent a tax sale from happening.

Most mortgages have a clause allowing the lender to add the amount it paid to bring the taxes current to your loan balance. You'll then have to make repayment arrangements with the servicer or potentially face a foreclosure.

Getting Help

Talk to a foreclosure lawyer, tax lawyer, or real estate lawyer if you're facing a tax sale in Nevada and have questions about the process (or need help redeeming your property).

To learn more about property taxes and other aspects of homeownership in general, get Nolo's Essential Guide to Buying Your First Home by Ilona Bray, J.D., Attorney Ann O'Connell, and Marcia Stewart.

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