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Past News Briefs



Property Owners Reminded To Pay Delinquent Property Taxes

BARTOW, Florida/ PR Free/ May 11, 2010

Polk County Tax Collector Joe G. Tedder, CFC reminds property owners who have still not paid their 2009 real estate taxes that Friday, May 28 is the last possible day to pay those taxes before incurring additional charges. On Tuesday, June 1, unpaid taxes will be sold through the Tax Collector's annual Tax Certificate Sale.

Every year, on or before June 1, Tedder and other tax collectors around the state host tax certificate sales, which provide for the collection of delinquent ad valorem taxes to the various taxing authorities and enable property owners more time to settle their delinquent back taxes. As in years past, the tax certificate sale will be held online, a process that in recent years has increased bidder participation while keeping the cost of collection low for taxpayers. Information and registration can be found online at

"The Tax Certificate Sale provides an alternative method for the collection of delinquent property taxes still owing by property owners who cannot pay their taxes by the end of the month. However, interest and additional charges will exceed 10% and represent the most costly route for property owners to protect their investment. Property owners who are not familiar with this process should become informed. We are working hard to give taxpayers clear information regarding every payment option available to them," stated Joe Tedder.

Per Florida Law, tax certificate listings will be published three times this month: May 10, 17 and 24. This initiates the bidding process, which formally opened online on May 7, and runs until June 1, when the sale begins.

Taxpayers are urged to call the Polk County Tax Collector's Tax Department at (863) 534-4721 or visit for a listing of free local numbers for their calling area.

Background Information:

Real estate taxes (ad Valorem taxes) are due from November 1st through March 31st and become delinquent April 1st of each year. Taxes which are not paid are placed on an advertised list of properties which will be offered up for sale. A tax certificate represents a lien on real property and may earn interest at a maximum rate of up to 18% per year. The cost to purchase a certificate includes the gross tax, interest, advertising cost and the incremental cost of the Tax Certificate sale. The bidding begins at 18% and the certificate is sold to the person bidding the LOWEST annual interest rate.

In order to clear the property of the tax lien, the property owner must pay the amount of the tax certificate plus interest calculated from the month after the certificate sale to the month of payment or no less than 5%. All payments are made to the Tax Collector. The life of a tax certificate is seven years from the date of issuance. Neither tax certificates nor interest rates are guaranteed.


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