The Luzerne County Tax Claim Bureau plays a vital role in the administration of property taxes in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania. This bureau is responsible for collecting delinquent property taxes and ensuring that all properties are in compliance with tax regulations. In this article, we will provide you with a comprehensive guide to the Luzerne County Tax Claim Bureau, including its functions, services, and important information for property owners.
What is the Luzerne County Tax Claim Bureau?
The Luzerne County Tax Claim Bureau is a government agency that manages the collection of delinquent property taxes in Luzerne County. Its primary role is to enforce tax liens and facilitate the sale of tax-delinquent properties through annual tax sales.
Functions and Services
The Tax Claim Bureau performs several key functions to ensure the efficient collection of property taxes:
1. Tax Collection
The bureau collects delinquent property taxes from property owners. They send out tax bills, process payments, and enforce penalties for non-payment.
2. Tax Lien Enforcement
If property owners fail to pay their taxes, the bureau can place a tax lien on the property. This lien ensures that the county has a claim on the property until the taxes are paid.
3. Tax Sales
The bureau conducts annual tax sales where tax-delinquent properties are auctioned off to the highest bidder. This allows the county to recoup the unpaid taxes and transfer ownership of the property to the new buyer.
4. Property Research
The bureau provides information on tax records, property assessments, and payment histories to property owners, buyers, and other interested parties.
Important Information for Property Owners
If you own property in Luzerne County, it’s essential to be aware of the following:
1. Tax Deadlines
Make sure to pay your property taxes on time to avoid penalties and potential tax liens on your property.
2. Tax Sale Eligibility
If your property has delinquent taxes, it may be eligible for sale at the annual tax sale. Stay informed about the status of your property to prevent any surprises.
3. Tax Assessor Contact
If you have concerns or questions about your property’s assessment, contact the Luzerne County Tax Assessor’s office for assistance.
4. Payment Options
The bureau offers various payment options, including online payments, in-person payments, and payment plans. Choose the option that suits you best.
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
Here are some common questions about the Luzerne County Tax Claim Bureau:
1. How can I contact the Luzerne County Tax Claim Bureau?
You can reach the bureau by phone at (570) 825-1531 or visit their office at 200 N River St, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18711.
2. Can I pay my property taxes online?
Yes, the bureau offers online payment options through their website. Visit their official website for more information.
3. What happens if I don’t pay my property taxes?
If you fail to pay your property taxes, the bureau can place a tax lien on your property, and it may be sold at the annual tax sale.
4. How often are the annual tax sales held?
The annual tax sales are typically held once a year. Contact the bureau for the exact dates and times.
5. Can I appeal my property assessment?
Yes, if you believe your property assessment is incorrect, you can file an appeal with the Luzerne County Tax Assessment Office.