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PROPERTY OWNERS ADVISED TO PAY LATE TAXES, AVOID DELINQUENT PENALTIES


PROPERTY OWNERS ADVISED TO PAY LATE TAXES, AVOID PENALTIES


Annual Tax Certificate Sale Is June 1

BARTOW, Florida/ PR Free/ May 9, 2011

Polk County Tax Collector Joe G. Tedder reminds property owners who have still not paid their 2010 real estate taxes that Friday, May 27 is the last day to pay those taxes before incurring additional costs. On June 1, tax certificates will be sold for unpaid taxes 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 property 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. Tax certificate sale information and registration instructions can be found online at www.polktaxes.com.

"We want the taxpayers to know that if they wait to pay after the tax certificate sale it will cost them in excess of 10% in taxes. We don't want that to happen to anybody. 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.

Tax certificate listings will be published three times this month: May 9, 16 and 23. This initiates the bidding process, which formally opened online on May 6, and runs until June 1, when the sale begins.

For more information, visit www.polktaxes.com.

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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