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Delinquent Taxes / Tax Certificate Sale
Property Tax > Delinquent Taxes / Tax Certificate Sale

Martin County Tax Certificate Sale

Delinquent Taxes

Real Estate Taxes
Real estate taxes become delinquent on April 1st each year. Florida Law requires a 3% penalty be assessed upon the taxes at this time. Florida Statutes require the Tax Collector to advertise the delinquent parcels in a local newspaper once a week for three consecutive weeks prior to the Tax Sale. Advertising and collection fees are added to the delinquent taxpayer's bill.

Tangible Personal Property (TPP)
Tangible Personal Property taxes become delinquent on April 1st each year at which time a 1.5% penalty per month is added to the bill. Within 45 days after the date of delinquency, the Tax Collector is required by law to advertise a list of the delinquent taxpayers one time in a local newspaper. The cost of this advertising is then added to the tax notice.

Florida Statutes require the Tax Collector to issue Tax Warrants prior to April 30th of the next tax year on all unpaid Tangible Personal Property taxes. The Tax Collector must then petition the Circuit Court for an order ratifying and directing the seizure and sale of the property for the amount of the unpaid taxes and costs.

Tax Certificates
Beginning on or before June 1st, the Tax Collector is required by law to hold a Tax Certificate Sale. The certificates represent liens on all unpaid real estate properties. The sale allows citizens to buy certificates by paying the owed tax debt. The sale is conducted in reverse auction style with participants bidding downward on interest rates starting at 18%. The certificate is awarded to the lowest bidder.

A tax certificate, when purchased, becomes an enforceable first lien against the real estate. The certificate holder is actually paying the taxes for a property owner in exchange for a competitive bid rate of return on his investment. In order to remove the lien, the property owner must pay the Tax Collector all delinquent taxes plus accrued interest, penalties and advertising fees. The Tax Collector then notifies the certificate holder of any certificates redeemed and a refund check is then issued to the certificate holder.

A tax certificate is valid for seven years from the date of issuance. The holder may apply for a tax deed when two or more years have elapsed since the date of delinquency. If the property owner fails to pay the tax debt, the property tax deed is sold at public auction.
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