Tax-Title General Information
Thurston County Tax-Title Properties
Tax-title properties are those that have been through the Thurston County Treasurer’s tax foreclosure process and had no bids at the time the auction was deemed closed by the County Treasurer. These properties are held by the county in trust for the taxing districts. The county only holds these properties in trust and is not responsible for their upkeep or maintenance. Tax-title properties are handled by Eric Sullivan, Revenue Officer of the Treasurer’s Office. He can be contacted at 360-786-5548 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Property acquired by the county via methods other than the tax foreclosure process is called “surplus” property. These properties are handled by Melanie Rabaglia, Public Works Real Estate Services. She may be reached at 360-867-2357, email@example.com, or 9605 Tilley Rd S Ste C, Olympia, WA 98512.
How to Purchase Tax-Title Properties (RCW 36.35.120 & 36.35.150)
There are two ways to purchase tax-title properties: private negotiation and public auction. The purchase procedure is as follows:
• A list of tax-title property is located on the Thurston County Treasurer’s web page for review.
• Anyone interested in purchasing a property must complete an “Application for Tax-Title” with $500.00 certified check deposit and submit to the County Treasurer’s Office. This deposit will be refunded if the applicant is not the winning bidder. However, this deposit will be forfeited, and the applicant banned from future sales if the applicant is the winning bidder and does not pay.
• The Treasurer’s Office will request a determination from the jurisdiction’s Permitting/Planning Dept. as to whether the property is practical to build on. This will determine whether the property can be sold by private negotiation or public auction.
• If the property was found to be practical to build on, then the sale will be a public auction. If the property was found not practical to build on, then the sale will be a private negotiation.
• If it is a public auction, the Treasurer’s Office must advertise a notice in a local newspaper once a week for two consecutive weeks. The starting bid plus fees is decided by the County Treasurer, not the offer on the application. Final approval of the purchase is by the Board of County Commissioners.
• The auction will be held at the same time as the tax foreclosure sale scheduled each year in January via the Internet, or another scheduled date. Auction dates are always advertised publicly and are posted on the Treasurer’s website.
• All tax-title properties are sold as is, where is, and with no representation, warranty, guarantee, expressed or implied by the county. It is the purchaser’s responsibility to research any property they may have an interest in purchasing.
• In addition to the bid amount on the application, we may add additional fees which may include a processing fee of $150.00, excise fee of $10.00, recording, publication, and auction fees.
The Treasurer’s Office may also review tax-title properties periodically and hold a public auction of those deemed sellable. The same procedure is followed except for the Application for Tax-Title not being required.