Guide To Tax Process


Each year thousands of property owners pay their real estate property taxes late or are unable to pay them altogether. The info below explains how the property tax collection process works in Williamson County and should answer some basic questions.

Prior To Tax Sale

The Williamson County Treasurer sends out tax bills to property owners once a year with two due dates. Payments not received in the office or US Postmark by the set due date is subject to a 1.5% penalty per month, this is in compliance to Illinois State Statutes.

Tax payments not received by the second installment due date will be considered DELINQUENT and subject to publication and tax sale. The Treasurer is required to send a final notice by Certified Mail to the owner of record shown on the County tax system.

Tax Sale

The tax sale in Williamson County is held annually in December. The “tax buyer” who bids the lowest rate of interest pays the County Treasurer’s office the total taxes that were due, cost of the sale and fees.

After Tax Sale

All records are turned over to the County Clerk for REDEMPTION. The property owner or any party with a financial interest in the property has a minimum of two years from the date of the sale to redeem these taxes. The tax buyer may, but is not legally obligated to extend the redemption period of up to three years from the date of the tax sale.

The redemption of these taxes must be made in one FULL PAYMENT by Certified Funds (Cashier’s check, Bank Certified Funds, money order or cash). The redemption can be made in person or by mail payable to the Williamson County Clerk. IF the taxes are not paid before the redemption period expires, the tax buyer can petition the Circuit Court for the deed of the property.

Further information can be obtained by calling the Williamson County Clerk at 618-998-2110.

Important Redemption Information

The redemption amount may increase as follows:

  • Cost of legal notice adds a one-time fee for tax year.
  • The interest rate bid at the sale is for one six-month penalty; repeats every succeeding May and November if unpaid.
  • If taxes are not paid, subsequent unpaid taxes can be paid by tax buyers without auction and added to the redemption total as early as September with a 12% per year penalty for subsequent taxes.

If property taxes are not redeemed, the tax deed process can be initiated six months prior to the time for redemption to expire and additional charges may be added beginning one month before the expiration date. If this process has begun, the tax buyer does not need to wait until late September but may pay and add the current year’s taxes to the redemption total as soon as the tax bills are mailed in May.