Departments | Treasurer | Property Tax Division
The Property Tax Division collects taxes certified by the County Auditor, which include real estate, mobile homes, special assessments, buildings on leased land, equipment assessed as real estate, utilities and grain handlers. The Tax Division also collects city and county special assessments, as well as delinquent charges assessed by all tax levying and certifying entities.
Property taxes may be paid in two installments. The first half is due September 1 and becomes delinquent October 1; the second half is due March 1 and becomes delinquent April 1. Delinquent interest accrues at the rate of 1.5% per month, rounded to the nearest dollar with a minimum of one dollar. Taxes unpaid as of the third Monday in June each year are offered at tax sale.
Payments may be mailed to the Cerro Gordo County Treasurer, 220 North Washington Avenue, Mason City IA 50401. Discover credit card payments are accepted for taxes and motor vehicle transactions. In addition, internet tax payments are taken at www.iowatreasurers.org where Discover, Mastercard, Visa, and echeck are accepted.
The law requires that a notice be sent to property owners who have past-due taxes as of February 15. The notification explains that under Iowa law, it is important for property owners to pay taxes, special and drainage assessments when they are due in order to avoid the tax sale. Iowa law also requires that a notice of the annual tax sale shall be mailed not later than May 1 to the person in whose name the parcel subject to tax sales is taxed. In compliance with this law, a Delinquent Tax Statement and Tax Sale Notice is mailed in April to provide proper notice of the pending tax sale.
Delinquent taxes as of May 1 are assessed a publication fee and must be advertised for sale at the annual tax sale in June. The delinquent tax list is published in the Mason City Globe Gazette which is an official newspaper in Cerro Gordo County, Iowa.
The Annual Tax Sale is held the third Monday in June at 8 a.m. with an adjourned sale scheduled for the third Monday of each subsequent month. Any delinquency must be offered for sale at the Regular or Public Bidder Tax Sale.
Delinquent tax and/or special assessments advertised twice and remaining unsold for want of a bidder must be offered for sale at the annual Public Bidder Sale. Cerro Gordo County is required by Iowa law to purchase the delinquencies if there is no private sector bidder. Further, once a Certificate of Purchase at Tax Sale has been issued to the County, the Treasurer has the authority to bring an ordinary suit at law for the collection of taxes.
A packet of information (pdf) pertaining to how Cerro Gordo County conducts the tax sale is available. We encourage all potential buyers to consult their attorney prior to purchasing tax sale certificates.
Payments for redemption from tax sale must be made by guaranteed funds. The rate of interest required by Iowa law to be paid at redemption is two percent monthly, rounded to the nearest dollar.