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Tax Sale

General Information

The treasurer does not sell property at the tax sale, but sells the county's tax lien on the property.

The county recovers the loss of uncollected property tax revenue at the annual tax sale. The county sells its tax lien on real property to attending purchasers for the amount of taxes, interest, and costs associated with the sale. The notice of sale along with the properties listed for sale, must be published for three consecutive weeks in a legal newspaper within the county. The Wyoming Tribune–Eagle is the local newspaper. As a general rule, this office publishes this notice every Thursday for the three weeks preceding Cheyenne Frontier Days™, which takes place the last full week in July. The sale is held the Thursday following the end of Frontier Days™. State statute provides a tax lien purchaser interest at 15% per annum in addition to a 3% penalty the day of purchase. Subsequent year taxes may be paid by the purchaser and also earn 15% interest.

Four years from the date of the tax sale, the treasurer will accept applications and issue tax deeds for unredeemed real property to purchasers upon proof of compliance with the statutory notice requirements. A tax deed cannot be issued by the county treasurer after six years have lapsed since the original date of sale.

It is important to take notice that Laramie County does not warrant the property when selling the tax lien. It is a buyer beware market.

Procedures

Pre-Registration
You must be pre-registered to participate in the tax sale. There is no on-line registration or registration the day of the tax sale. Pre-registration normally takes place the two days prior to the tax sale. Pre- registration is done in the office of the Laramie County Treasurer. For information concerning pre-registration please call the property tax department at 307-633-4225.

Sale

A participant of the sale cannot pick and choose properties for purchase. Instead, the treasurer announces each delinquent property by owner name and amount due. After each announcement, a number is drawn. The participant's number which matches the number drawn has the option to purchase the lien or pass. In the case of a pass, another number is drawn until the lien is purchased. This process is repeated until all liens are sold.

All liens purchased at the sale must be paid upon completion of the tax sale.

Cash, ceritified funds, personal checks and credit cards ( Discover, VISA, MasterCard, AmEx ) are accepted methods of payment. When using a credit Card, a user fee is charged. Returned checks may result in the loss of liens purchased.

Certificate of Purchase

A certificate of purchase is issued to the purchaser of a tax lien the day of the tax sale. Laramie County maintains custody of the certificates of purchase. As redemption occurs, this office will send payment directly to the purchaser.

A 3% penalty of the amount purchased the first year is earned by the purchaser, as well as the statutory 15% interest earned from the date of the sale. Application for a tax deed can be made no earlier than four years from the date of sale after complying with specific notice requirements set forth in Wyoming Statute 39-13-108. A tax deed cannot be issued by the county treasurer after six years have lapsed since the original date of sale.

Subsequent Year Taxes

A certificate holder is under no obligation to pay subsequent taxes. Subsequent taxes, when paid by the certificate holder, attach to the original lien and earn the same rate of interest (15%) as the original certificate. Payments of subsequent taxes will be accepted on September 1 but the interest will not apply until the taxes are delinquent the day after the payable dates listed below:

  • First installment - November 10
  • Second installment - May 10

When paying subsequent year taxes, this office needs the CP numbers from the tax receipts along with the CP holder's name. To pay in person, bring in the tax receipts. If paying by mail, furnish this office with the above information prior to the payment dates. We will provide the amount due and upon receiving payment, return paid receipts.

Subsequent payments on Certificates of Purchase must be made by the CP holder. Consistency between the identity of the person providing payments on a certificate of purchase and the original purchaser at tax sale is directed by both statute and the need to properly record and preserve the rights which attach to a certificate of purchase.

First, the statutes provide that the individual bidding at the tax sale on a piece of property, is the purchaser. After tax sale, the individual successfully offering the payment is mandated to immediately pay the county the tax due in order to acquire the certificate of purchase.  Other than after assignment of the Certificate (discussed below) no provision exists to interrupt or allow substitution of another individual or entity as the payor of such funds. Wyo. Stat.  Ann. § 39-13-108, states in pertinent part: 

“(e)(iii)(B)Any person who offers to pay the amount of taxes, interest, penalties and costs including charges provided by paragraph (ix) of this subsection due on any real property is considered the purchaser thereof. The purchaser shall immediately pay the county treasurer all amounts due on the real property in the absence of which the real property shall again be offered for sale and the original purchaser disqualified.”

The possessor of a certificate of purchase has certain rights as described in statute.  These include being the possessor of a perpetual lien, including the right or opportunity to foreclose on said lien.  Id. at (d).  Of course, a certificate of purchase holder is entitled to payment, upon redemption by the property owner, of not only taxes paid at sale but any subsequent payments of taxes made, including interest as provided by statute. See, Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 39-13-109.

A certificate of purchase holder, who pays only at the tax sale or only for a few subsequent tax years, and then ceases, still retains their lien rights, subject to any "junior" certificate of purchase holders who may come after. This “lien is superior to all other liens except those created by junior tax sales or payment of subsequent taxes by another person.” Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 39-13-108 (d)(ii).

Finally, a certificate of purchase holder has the ability, in accord with statute, to apply for a tax deed to the property after the passage of the required time.  This right attaches specifically, and only, to the "holders of a certificate of purchase.” Id. at (e)v).

Due to the various rights vested in a certificate of purchase holder, the Treasurer’s Department must maintain consistency in the records of not only the sale but of any subsequent payments on that certificate of purchase.  The statutes do not provide for any “agency” or representative to pay on behalf of a CP holder.  The Treasurer is mandated by statute to keep true and accurate accounts as to all receipt of funds from any source. Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 18-3-806. 

Finally, it is possible for a certificate of purchase to be assigned to another individual or entity.  “(C) Certificates of purchase may be assigned by endorsement and assignment vests all right and title of the original purchaser in the assignee or his legal representatives.” Id at (e)(iii)(C).  Such an assignment can be done through forms available in the Treasurer's office, and upon completion of the transfer of the interest, the Treasurer's records would reflect a different CP holder from whom payment can be accepted.

Redemptions

The legal owner of the property may redeem taxes sold at the tax sale. To redeem, the owner must pay to the treasurer's office the amount of tax sold at the sale, a 3% penalty, 15% simple interest, and a redemption fee. Any subsequent year taxes paid by the certificate holder must also be paid, with interest, at the time of redemption. The purchaser can obtain a Tax Deed for the property if taxes are not redeemed by the property owner within four years from the date of the sale.

Tax Deeds

If the legal owners or mortgages of property do not redeem the property within four years from the date of the sale, holders of Certificates of Purchase can apply for a tax deed by submitting an application showing that they have complied with strict notice requirements. If all requirements have been met, the Certificate of Purchase holder will be given a tax deed to the property.

Historical Data

Tax Year Date Held Parcels Sold Patrons Attending
2019 07/30/20 113 118
2018 08/03/19 143 109
2017 08/02/18 130 131
2016 08/03/17 142 154
2015 08/04/16 187 181
2014 07/30/15 205 238
2013 07/31/14 433 311
2012 08/01/13 450 298
2011 08/02/12 471 255
2010 08/04/11 467 226
2009 08/05/10 425 203
2008 07/30/09 599 203
2007 07/31/08 410 197
2006 08/02/07 367 186
2005 08/03/06 288 190
2004 08/04/05 298 200
2003 08/05/04 308 165
2002 07/31/03 346 302
2001 08/01/02 381 165
2000 08/02/01 364 108
1999 08/03/00 314 83
1998 08/05/99 230 79
1997 07/30/98 246 106
1996 07/31/97 332 80
1995 08/01/96 302 58
1994 08/03/95 248 92
1993 08/04/94 178 91
1992 08/05/93 280 108
1991 07/30/92 364 64
1990 08/02/91 493 65
1989 08/02/90 426 56
1988 08/03/89 760 74
1987 08/04/88 462 ?
1986 07/30/87 392 ?
1985 07/31/86 820 ?