Delinquent Taxes FAQ
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Election Center Contact

Physical Location:
Madison County Courthouse
1st Floor - Election Center
Richmond, KY 40475

Contact Numbers:
(Phone) 859-624-4703 Option 2
(Fax) 859-624-4954

Office Hours: M-F 8:00AM - 4:30PM

Delinquent Taxes FAQ


Q: What is considered a delinquent real estate tax?

A: A tax is considered "delinquent" when the due date of a specific real estate tax assessment has passed and by statute any appeal rights have expired. Madison County real estate property tax notices are mailed out to all property owners in October and are payable to the County Sheriff's Office beginning November 1st. County taxes are maintained and collected in the County Sheriff's Office until April 15th each year. The Sheriff transfers all unpaid taxes to the Madison County Clerk's Office, accruing statutory penalties as well as interest at 1% per month until paid. Two additional notices are mailed by the County Attorney, the first week of May and the first week of June. The bills are advertised in the Richmond Register newspaper approximately 30 days before the scheduled tax sale date. (KRS 134.015)


Q: Are there other costs that may be added to my tax liability after it becomes delinquent?

A: Yes, delinquent tax collection fees and interest will be added to the bill when it becomes delinquent. These fees change periodically according to changes in the statutes. The current tax bill fee schedule is as follows:


During Sheriff's Collection Period

(KRS134.015 & 134.119(7)

November 1 - 30

2% Discount

December 1 - 31

Gross Tax

January 1 - 30

5% Penalty

February 1 - April 15

10% Penalty + 10% Ad Fee

During Sheriff's Collection Period


April 16 - April 30

Sheriff's Commission
  (KRS 134.122 (2)(d))


1% Interest for April (KRS 134.125)


10% County Clerk Fee
  (KRS 134.126 (9))


20% County Attorney Fee
  (KRS134.504 (7)(a))


$10 Lien Fee (KRS 64.012 (7) & (8))

May 1 - May 30

1% Interest for May


30 Day Mail Fee for first notice
  ( KRS 134.504 (4)(d))

June 1 - June 30

1% Interest for June


60 Day Mail Fee for second notice (KRS 134.504 (4)(d))


Advertising Fee Ad (varies from year   to year)
  (KRS 134.128 (5) (a))


County Clerk Ad fee $5.00
  (KRS 134.128 (5) (b))

July 1 - Sale Date

1% Interest for July

Once the sale occurs, and if the bill is sold, there will be additional penalties assessed by the third party purchaser. If your bill is sold, you would need to contact and pay directly to the third party purchaser of your tax bill. Click here for a list of third party purchasers.  If the bill is not sold, it continues to accrue interest at 1% per month.


Q: What are the specific Delinquent Tax payment instructions?

A: Delinquent taxes may be paid in person by visiting the Madison County Clerk's Office at 101 West Main, Richmond, KY 40475. If you are unable to visit our office, full payment can be mailed to:

Madison County Clerk
101 W. Main Street
(PO Box 1270)
Richmond, KY 40475

Forms of Payment Accepted include and are limited to:

        • By Mail or In the Office
        • Certified Check
        • Cashier's Check
        • Money Order
        • In the Office Only
        • Cash
        • Check – with proper ID
        • Debit Card - $2.50 processing fee
        • Credit Card - Visa, MasterCard or Discover - 3% processing fee 

We accept payments over the phone with a valid credit card. (3% Processing Fee)


Q: Can I pay my delinquent taxes in installments at the Madison County Clerk's Office?

A: No. It is important to note that if partial payments were allowed, a lien would remain on your property until payment is made in full. Additionally, as long as a balance remains on your delinquent tax account, a third party could purchase your tax bill without warning. The purchase could neither be anticipated nor prevented by the County Clerk. The County Attorney may be able to offer you an installment payment plan. Please call that office at 859-624-4777 for questions concerning delinquent payment plans. You can not set up payment plans until your tax bill becomes delinquent. Once your tax lien is purchased by a 3rd party, they may also offer an installment plan. Contact the buyer directly for more information.


Q: Is a lien placed on my property when my taxes become delinquent?

A: Yes. A lien is filed against the specified real property you own in Madison County. The lien is filed with the Madison County Clerk's Office and is a public record of the amount you owe. It could affect your ability to obtain credit or sell real estate. The cost of releasing the lien will be added to the delinquent tax account at the time the lien is filed. 


Q: Who can lawfully purchase my delinquent tax bill?

A: Kentucky Law allows any individual or company to purchase delinquent tax bills that are not flagged by the County Attorney as being on the protected list. Protected bills include bills that are involved in Bankruptcy, Pending Litigation, or are on a Payment Plan with the County Attorney. The sale of tax bills cannot be anticipated nor prevented by the County Clerk.


Q: What happens when someone buys my delinquent tax bill?

A: The lien (Certificate of Delinquency) which is held by the County Clerk’s Office is then assigned to the 3rd Party Purchaser and the document is recorded in the land records of the County Clerk’s Office. The 3rd Party Purchaser then has 50 days to give notice that the tax bill has been purchased. Payment must be sent directly to the 3rd Party Purchaser, along with the associated penalties and interest assessed by them after their purchase. There are statutory guidelines regulating what can be charged by a 3rd Party Purchaser. Once you pay the 3rd Party Purchaser, they will file a Release of Assignment of Certificate of Delinquency with the County Clerk’s Office within 30 days of receipt of payment.


Q: How long do I have to pay the buyer?

A: The buyer may institute a foreclosure action in court against you for the unpaid debt one (1) year after the bill becomes delinquent. Bills become delinquent on January 1, example: 2012 tax bills became delinquent on January 1, 2013 and will qualify for foreclosure on January 1, 2014. However, some buyers may be in no hurry to collect the debt, given the interest rates charged, and may simply hold the certificate as long as your equity in the property exceeds the tax debt. The statute of limitations for the Certificate of Delinquency is 11 years following the date the taxes become delinquent.


Q: Who do I pay if I can't locate the buyer?

A: Some buyers do change addresses without contacting the debtors. Contact the Madison County Clerk's Office at 859-624-4703 #2 to verify the mailing address of record for the 3rd Party Purchaser. 


Q: Does the Madison County Clerk's Office report my delinquent taxes to a credit bureau?

A: No. However, mortgage companies and other creditors do contact the Madison County Clerk's Office to inquire about delinquent taxes. If your credit bureau report shows an open tax lien, it probably is not for Delinquent Real Estate or Tangible taxes. Usually these liens are placed by the Commonwealth for income or other taxes. If your credit report shows that there is a Certificate of Delinquency or other tax lien on your property, you may obtain a copy of the lien and or release directly from the Madison County Clerk's Office at 859-624-4703 #2.


Q: How long do I have to pay my delinquent taxes with the County Clerk's Office if no third party or the state buys the tax bill?

A: Tax bills are collectable by the County Clerk until the Statute of Limitations runs out at 11 years following the date of delinquency however; the County Attorney can force a foreclosure action any time prior to the 11 years.


Q: What if I did not receive a tax notice and my taxes become delinquent, will the tax penalties be exonerated?

A: That depends. In some cases, tax bills may be sent to the wrong address; if this is a governmental error, some penalties can be waived. However, property owners should expect to receive a yearly tax bill. According to the Kentucky Department of Revenue, not receiving a tax bill or being unfamiliar with Kentucky tax laws are not reasons to waive a penalty and interest on a delinquent tax bill. Interest cannot be waived under any current statutes. If you do not receive a bill in November, you will need to follow up with the County Sheriff's Office at 859-624-4715.



2014 kbarger profilev2A native of Richmond, Kentucky, Clerk Kenny Barger graduated from Madison Central High School and also attended Eastern Kentucky University.  Prior to his election in 2010, Clerk Kenny Barger worked in his family’s business, Barger’s Towing and Recovery, and as Manager at Mikron Industries, Inc., both located in Richmond, Kentucky. 

Current Term: 2015 - 2018
First Elected: 2010



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