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Lee County Tax Collector sets date for annual certificate sale

By Staff | May 6, 2020

Despite these uncertain times and understanding the hardships so many property owners face, Tax Collector Larry Hart has opened registration for the annual sale of properties with unpaid real property taxes. Visit leefl.realtaxlien.com/ to register.

The Tax Collector is required by law to hold a tax certificate sale on or before June 1 each year on properties with delinquent taxes that remain unpaid. Registration closes for the auction-style sale on Wednesday, May 13, at 11:59 p.m. EDT, and the sale takes place on Tuesday, May 19, from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. online at leefl.realtaxlien.com.

Tax certificates represent liens for delinquent taxes, interest and charges associated with the properties involved in the sale. Tax certificate holders pay the delinquent taxes to the county in exchange for the chance to earn interest of as much as 18% per year.

Buying a certificate isn’t the same as buying the property, but beginning April 1, 2022, anyone holding a certificate issued in this year’s sale that has not been paid or redeemed can apply for a tax deed to sell the land. Certificates expire seven years from the issue date and are null and void at that point.

Each certificate goes to the bidder willing to accept the lowest interest rate. The bidding starts at 18% and progresses downward in 0.25% increments.

Any certificate that isn’t bid on will be issued to the county and available for purchase from leetc.com after the auction.

To learn about certificate redemptions, transfers and cancellations, please visit leetc.com/taxes/tax-certificates. To become a registered bidder, go to leefl.realtaxlien.com/.