does tax-title mean?
Parcels offered for auction
at tax foreclosure sales, but not sold, are deeded to the County.
These parcels are called "Tax-Title." They may still be purchased
from the County through a process called a tax-title sale. A list
of tax-title properties
is available at the Treasurer's Office. Tax-title properties are
subject to the same risks as tax foreclosure properties.
What is County owned surplus?
Parcels the County owns, not acquired through tax
foreclosure, can be purchased if the Whatcom County Council
has declared a parcel "surplus." A list of surplus County
owned property will be available at the Treasurer's
Office, from time to time, when so declared.
How is Tax-title or County owned surplus property
and County owned surplus property is done through public auction,
or by private negotiation without a call for bids per RCW
36.35.150, and is called a tax-title sale. It can take six
months or more to bring a parcel to sale.
to Purchase County Property," along with a $150 deposit
starts the process. Each parcel requires a separate form
and deposit. You may, however, request that several parcels
be sold as a group.
Office will present all applications to the Whatcom County
Property Management Committee at their next meeting. The
committee meets twice a year. The committee makes a recommendation
to retain or sell a parcel, either by public auction or private
negotiation. If the committee recommends retaining the parcel,
the applicant's deposit will be refunded. If the committee
recommends in favor of the sale, a resolution is drafted and
submitted to the County Executive.
The County Executive usually forwards the resolution to the
Whatcom County Council.
The Whatcom County Council sets a public hearing date and
applicants are notified. At the hearing the Council approves
or rejects the sale. If the sale is rejected, the
applicant's deposit is refunded.
If approved for
sale by public auction, the Whatcom County Treasurer schedules
the auction and the applicant is notified of the date, time
and location. The auction is advertised in the local newspaper
for three consecutive weeks.
Follow this link to the
current tax title minimum
Anyone can attend
the public auction and bid on the parcels for sale. If the
applicant is the successful bidder at the sale, their deposit
is applied to the purchase amount of the parcel. The applicant's
deposit is refunded, if they or their representative, are
present at the sale and someone else purchases the parcel.
See our property auction research
page for information on researching property.
How does the auction work?
See our property auction process
page for additional information on the process.