Tax Deed Sales

Florida Statutes provide that the Clerk of the Circuit Court is responsible for the administration of tax deed sales.

How can a tax certificate be brought to sale? If a certificate is not redeemed within two years from the date the taxes became delinquent; the certificate holder may apply for a tax deed, and bring the land to sale at a public auction. Example 2011 taxes are delinquent April 1, 2012; therefore, a tax deed application may be made after April 1, 2014. A certificate holder who wishes to apply for a tax deed must redeem all other certificates and pay other fees as mandated by state law.

What is a tax deed sale? A tax deed sale is the sale of property at public auction for back taxes and fees associated with bringing the property to sale.

How do I purchase a tax deed property at a tax deed sale? Online Tax Deed Sales are being held at the Clerk of the Court’s online auction website. Prior to bidding on Tax Deeds, you must first register at the website. For more information regarding the online sale, please visit the Clerk of Court’s main website at http://Co.Charlotte.FL.US.

How is the starting bid obtained? The starting bid, otherwise called base bid, is calculated from the following charges:

Tax Collector Fee* $75.00
Taxes and Interest Varies
Ownership and Encumbrance Report* $50.00
Clerk's Statutory Fee* $60.00
Web Fee* $49.00
Advertising Charge* Varies
Postage** Varies
Sheriff's Fee** $40.00 per person served
Additional Interest 1.5% per month figure above
1/2 Assessed Value Varies
Starting Bid Total of Above

* These fees are fixed fees for each property
** These fees depend on the number of individuals to be notified.

Is the owner of the property sent a notice that the property is being sold? Yes. Florida Statute 197.522 requires the Clerk of the Circuit Court to send a notice to the owner of record and any lienholder of record.

  1. A notice of Application for Tax Deed, which states the date and time of the sale and the amount due to redeem the property is mailed.
  2. If the owner resides in the State of Florida, the sheriff of the county where the owner resides attempts service of a Notice of application for tax deed to the owner.
  3. The Notice of Application is published once each week for four consecutive weeks at weekly intervals in a newspaper selected as provided in Florida Statute 197.402. No tax deed sale shall be held until 30 days after the first publication of the notice.

What happens if I am the high bidder? Once all fees have been paid, a Tax Deed is issued and recorded in the name you request for the property on which you were the high bidder. According to Florida Statute 197.562, “Any person, firm, corporation, or county that is the grantee of any tax deed under this law shall be entitled to the immediate possession of the lands described in the deed.”

Can a tax deed sale be stopped? Yes. According to Florida Statute 197.422, tax deed property may be redeemed anytime prior to the recording of the tax deed if all back taxes and fees are paid to the Tax Collector.

Do liens survive the issuance of a tax deed? You may wish to consult your attorney. Florida Statute 197.552 provides, in part, “..except as specifically provided in this chapter, no right, interest, restriction, or other convenant shall survive the issuance of a tax deed, except that a lien of record held by a municipal or county government unit, when such lien is not satisfied as of the disbursement of proceeds of sale under the provisions of Statute 197.582, shall survive the issuance of a tax deed…”

Now that I have a tax deed, what must I do? There may be additional processes that are necessary in order to obtain marketable title. However, this question cannot be answered by the Tax Collectors Office. You may wish to contact your attorney for further information.

What happens when there are no bidders at the county tax deed sale? The property goes on the list of “Lands Available for Taxes” pursuant to Florida Statute 197.502. The 1999 Legislature amended the process for obtaining tax deeds for the real property by holders of tax sale certificates, section 197.502, Florida Statutes, effective May 26, 1999. See Chapter 99-190, Laws of Florida (see Senate Bill 1534, sections 3-5). As described below, portions of this law apply only to property that is on the list of lands available for taxes upon which there are no outstanding tax sale certificates that were issued prior to July 1, 1999 (see Senate Bill 1534, section 8).

This new law changes the start date for determining the 90 day period during which the county may purchase land from the list of lands available for taxes. Under prior law, this 90 day period began the day after the public sale. Under the new law, this 90 day period begins when the land is placed on the list of lands available for taxes.

This new law changes the period of time before land will escheat to the county, from seven years from the day the land is offered for public sale to three years from the day the land is offered for public sale. See section 197.502 (8), Florida Statutes (1999).

If you have any additional questions please call (941)743-1350.
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