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Deadline passes to pay county property taxes

By Staff | Mar 31, 2010

Wednesday was the deadline to pay your Lee County property tax, but if you missed it, don’t worry, you’re not alone.
As of March 28, there were still 80,257 properties in the county that taxes had not been paid for.
Tammy Harrison from the Lee County Tax Collector’s office said the figure represented the latest update as of Wednesday.
That means 16 percent of all property owners in the county have yet to pay their bills. Harrison said there were 511,796 total properties in the county.
“Tomorrow there will be a 3 percent penalty plus the advertising cost in the newspaper,” Harrison said of those who have yet to pay.
If someone purchases the tax certificate on delinquent property, the property owner still has two years to pay off the fine and the interest from the tax certificate to retain the property.
Harrison said people often buy the tax certificates specifically to earn the interest. Many investors use the process to acquire properties, Harrison added, though transfer of the deeds can take up to two years. And while you own the tax certificate, you are not guaranteed ownership.
“Most of them are interested in the interest itself but some may be interested in the actual property,” Harrison said.
While property tax makes up a huge chunk of the county’s budget, Harrison said sales of the tax certificates are a way for the county to make up any potential shortfall.
People looking to pay their property tax can do so several ways, via the tax collector’s Web site, or in person at any tax collector location in Lee County.
The Cape’s Tax Collector office is near city hall, across from the post office.
The tax certificate sale will be May 25, online at the Tax Collector’s Web site, www.leetc.com.