Real Estate Property Tax Delinquency
Unpaid real estate property taxes become delinquent on April 1 of the year following the year of assessment. At this time, interest of 3% and an advertising charge is added to the tax amount due. If the taxes remain unpaid on or before June 1, a tax certificate, or lien against the property, will be sold for the amount of the unpaid taxes, interest and costs. Interest accrues on the tax certificate from June 1 until the taxes are paid. After two years, the tax certificate holder is eligible to file for a Tax Deed Application, which could result in the loss of title to the property.
Tax Certificates and Sale (Auction)
A tax certificate is a lien on property created by payment of the delinquent taxes due by an investor. It is not a purchase of property. The Tax Collector is required to conduct a sale of tax certificates beginning on or before June 1 for the preceding year’s delinquent real estate taxes. Prior to the tax certificate sale, the Tax Collector advertises the delinquent taxes for three consecutive weeks in a local newspaper. The amount advertised includes the unpaid tax, non-ad valorem assessment, applicable interest, Tax Collector’s commission, and advertising costs. Bidding on a certificate starts at 18% interest and is bid down until the certificate is sold. Interest is paid at the rate of the winning bid. When a tax certificate is redeemed and the interest earned on the face amount is less than 5%, a mandatory charge of 5% interest is due. The person redeeming the tax certificate pays the interest rate bid or the mandatory charge, whichever is greater. Tax certificates are dated as of the first day of the tax certificate sale and expire after 7 years. Any tax certificate can be canceled or reduced if errors, omissions, or double assessments are made. If a tax certificate is canceled or reduced, the interest earned on the canceled or reduced amount is 8%. Investors who are interested in participating in a tax certificate sale are advised that on the advertised day and time, but no later than June 1 of each year, the Tax Collector will offer up for sale (online) a tax certificate on each delinquent parcel of real property. Only pre-registered bidders may participate in the tax certificate auction. The interest on a certificate ranges from 0 to 18%. Bids are entered with the certificate going to the bidder of lowest interest rate. Unsold tax certificates are struck off to the county. Following the regular tax certificate sale process, remaining available certificates may be purchased online, carry an 18% interest rate, and are offered to the public on a first-come-first-served basis. For more information about bidding on and buying tax certificates online, go to the tax certificate sale website, www.polktaxsale.com.
Tax Deed Sale Application
Prior to applying for tax deed it is advisable to check for any existing liens on the property. A tax deed refers to a type of deed that results from the nonpayment of real estate property taxes. When such taxes are not paid a tax certificate is sold. The purchaser or holder of a tax certificate, in an attempt to recoup their investment, may apply for a tax deed and request the sale of the property when two years or more have elapsed since April 1 of the year the certificate was issued. (Note: A tax certificate is held for a minimum of two years and a maximum of seven years.) At any time between the second and seventh year of the tax certificate’s issuance, the certificate holder may apply for a tax deed and request the sale of the property in an attempt to satisfy the certificate. The application allows the property to be sold at public auction conducted by the Clerk of the Courts. In Polk County, tax deed applications are made online. To apply for a tax deed (on an available tax certificate), go to www.realtda.com.
Tax Certificate Transfers
Those seeking to transfer the tax certificates they hold, are required to complete and submit an Endorsement form to the Tax Collector’s Office and include a check, cashiers’ check, or money order in the amount of $2.25 per certificate to be transferred. To download the Endorsement form, click here.
Tax Deed Sale
When a tax certificate holder completes a tax deed application, the property in question is then placed up for bid and publicly auctioned at a tax deed sale held by the Clerk of the Courts. Prior to the sale of a tax deed, the property owner of record may retain the property in question upon payment of the total amount (taxes/fees/interest/commissions/costs) owed.
For more information about the Clerk’s Office, please visit www.polkcountyclerk.net.
To purchase an available tax deed online and/or learn more about the tax deed online sale process, go to www.realtda.com.
Tangible Personal Property Tax Delinquency
Unpaid tangible personal property taxes become delinquent on April 1 of the year following assessment. Within 45 days after the personal property taxes become delinquent, the Tax Collector shall advertise a list of the names of delinquent personal property taxpayers and the amount of tax due by each. Tax warrants are then issued in May on all unpaid tangible personal property taxes. After July 1, the Tax Collector appears before the Circuit Court for an order directing levy and seizure of the property for the amount of unpaid taxes and costs. When a tax payment is mailed and has a postmark that indicates the tax payment is delinquent, then the date the payment is received shall determine the payment that is due, including interest, costs, as well as actions to be taken, such as the issuance of a tax certificate or a tax warrant.
Notice of Sale for Tangible Personal Property
Unpaid Tangible Personal Property taxes become delinquent on April 1 of the year following assessment. Within 45 days after the personal property taxes become delinquent, the Tax Collector advertises a list of the names of delinquent personal property taxpayers and the amount of taxes due. Tax warrants are then issued in May on all unpaid tangible personal property taxes. After July 1 the Tax Collector appears before the Circuit Court for an order directing levy and seizure of the property for the amount of unpaid taxes and costs. Items subject to seizure are then sold to recover taxes and cost due. Any excess funds realized from the sale are distributed to the delinquent taxpayer (former owner of the property).