General Tax Deed Sales Information
Taxes become delinquent April 1st of each year. At that time, the Tax Collector begins preparing the tax certificate sale. A tax certificate is sold for all taxes not paid by June 1st. A tax certificate is a tax lien against the property. The certificate holder does not have any rights to the property. If no individual purchases a certificate on a piece of property at the certificate sale, the County assumes the certificate. There are two types of tax certificates: individual and County. The owner or interested party may redeem the certificate at any time by paying to the Tax Collector the delinquent taxes and interest earned by the certificate holder. (F.S. 197.472) The tax certificate has a life of seven years. (F.S. 197.482).
If a certificate is not redeemed, the certificate holder may force the issue by making application for tax deed. A certificate must be two years old to be eligible for a Tax Deed application. (For county held certificates, the Board of County Commissioners makes application for the Tax Deed.) The application process must begin in the Tax Collector's Office. The Tax Collector prepares the necessary paperwork (which includes the Tax Collector's Certificate and a legal description of the property) and forwards it to the Clerk's Office. The Clerk's Office prepares the legal advertisement for the newspaper, the certified mailing of notices of the pending sale, the civil process to be served by the Sheriff's Office, the calculation of the opening bid, answers questions from the public, and waits for the sale. The owner or interested party may redeem before a tax deed is issued unless full payment for a tax deed is made to the Clerk's Office, including documentary stamps and recording fees.