About Tax Certificates
A Tax Certificate
is a lien on property created by payment of the delinquent taxes due. It is not
a purchase of property.
Florida statutes require the Tax Collector to conduct a sale of tax certificates
beginning on or before June 1st for the preceding year's delinquent real estate
Prior to the tax certificate sale, the Tax Collector must advertise the delinquent
taxes for 3 consecutive weeks in a local newspaper of general circulation. The amount
of the certificate is the sum of the unpaid real estate tax and the non-ad valorem
assessment, including 3% interest for April and May, and 5% Tax Collector's
commission and advertising costs.
Bidding on the certificates starts at 18% interest and is bid down until the certificate
is sold. Interest is paid at the rate of the winning bid.
When a tax certificate is redeemed and the interest earned on the face amount is
less than 5%, a mandatory charge of 5% interest is due. The person redeeming the
tax certificate pays the interest rate bid or the mandatory charge, whichever is
Tax certificates are dated as of the first day of the tax certificate sale and expire
after 7 years. Any tax certificate can be canceled or reduced if errors, omissions,
or double assessments are made. If a tax certificate is canceled or reduced, the
interest earned on the canceled or reduced amount is 8%.
Investors who are interested in participating in Polk County's Tax Certificate
Sale are advised to visit this website in May for upcoming sale information.
Tax certificates that are not purchased at the sale are struck to the county. These
"county held certificates" carry an 18% interest rate and are offered
to the public on a first-come, first-served basis.
Tax certificate holders seeking to apply for a tax deed should
Tax certificate holders seeking to transfer certificates, need to complete and submit
an endorsement form to the Tax Collector's Office and include a check, cashiers'
check, or money order in the amount of $2.25 per certificate transfer.
Download Endorsement Form (in PDF)... |Get Adobe Reader|
Tax Certificate Sale Info
On the advertised day and time, but no later than June 1st of each year, the Tax
Collector will offer up for sale (online) a tax certificate on each delinquent parcel
of real property. Only pre-registered bidders may participate in the tax certificate
auction. The interest on a certificate ranges from 0 to 18%. Bids are entered with
the certificate going to the bidder taking the lowest interest rate. Unsold certificates
are struck off to the County.
Note: Following the conclusion of the regular tax certificate sale
process, remaining available certificates may be purchased online.
For more information about bidding on and buying tax certificates online, click here to go to the tax certificate sale website (www.polktaxsale.com).