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 News Briefs


BARTOW, Florida – The Tax Collector's 2019 tax certificate sale has officially come to a close. Traditionally, the office has held their annual online real property tax certificate sale to address the revenue shortfall created from delinquent taxes. By selling tax certificates, which are tax liens,investors who are willing to assume some risk on the front end will have an opportunity to make a profit on the back end if/when the delinquent taxpayer finally pays the principal and interest owed on the tax lien. The interest on a certificate ranges from 0 to 18%. Tax certificates that are not purchased at the sale are sent to the county. These "county held certificates" carry an 18% interest rate and are offered to the public on a first-come, first-served basis.

Joe G. Tedder, Tax Collector for Polk County, reports that from a total real estate tax roll of $595,985,692 at the beginning of the tax year, $18,986,667 went unpaid and was offered up for tax certificates on June 1, 2019. Of this, 13,995 tax certificates were sold for a total of $18,097,538 delinquent taxes collected, representing 95% of the unpaid balance of taxes owed, at an average interest rate to investors of 1.45%, a savings to those property owners with outstanding taxes still owed.

At the conclusion of the online tax certificate sale, $889,130 in delinquent tax certificates remains unsold, compared to $1,003,436 a year ago. For the 2018 tax year, the total real estate tax roll collected, including the tax certificate sale was $593,236,328 representing a 99% collection rate.

The county-held tax certificates will be available for review and purchase on July 1, 2019 at:

For more information, please go to or contact Margarita Alfaro, Public Engagement Specialist at [email protected].

About Joe G. Tedder, Tax Collector for Polk County, FL

Joe G. Tedder was first elected to the position of Polk County’s Tax Collector in 1996. Since then, he has been reelected to the position in 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012, and 2016. With offices in Bartow,Lakeland, Davenport, and Lake Wales, the tax collector’s office serves over 686,000 residents in Polk County offering services such as driver licenses/ID cards, motor vehicle plates, registration decals, titles & placards, real estate & tangible personal property taxes, local business taxes, tourist development taxes, and other services.

To access Tax Collector's News for 2014 to present, click here

To access Tax Collector's News for 2013 and earlier, click here