Real Estate taxes become delinquent on April 1st each year. Florida Law requires a 3% penalty be assessed upon the taxes at this time. During the month of May, the Tax Collector is required by Florida Statute to advertise the delinquent parcels in a local newspaper once a week for 3 weeks. The cost of this advertising is added to the tax notice.
Beginning on or before June 1st the Tax Collector is required by law to hold a Tax Certificate Sale. These certificates represent liens on all unpaid real estate properties and are sold so that the various taxing authorities will receive those funds which are encumbered by their fiscal budgets for that year. The Tax Certificate sale is open to all citizens and the certificates are sold in a reverse auction style with participants bidding downward on interest rates starting at 18%. The certificate is issued 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 interest on his investment. In order to remove the lien and cancel the certificate, the property owner must pay all the delinquent taxes plus accrued interest, penalties and costs associated with the certificate. The Tax Collector then notifies the certificate holder and issues a check for his investment, thereby canceling the lien and certificate.
A Tax Certificate is valid for a period of seven (7) years from the date of issuance. The holder of the certificates may apply for a Tax Deed when two (2) or more years have elapsed from the date of delinquency of the tax year for which the certificate was issued. If the property owner fails to pay the tax debt, a Tax Deed will be sold at public auction and title to the property will transfer at that time.
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.