Real Estate Tax


Tax Deed Overview for Property Owners / Business Owners

This action forces the owner to pay the back taxes or run the risk of having the property sold at a public auction to the highest bidder.

A tax deed application is the action initiated by a tax certificate holder. The tax deed application is a legal document that begins the process wherein the Clerk of the Circuit Court sells the property to the highest bidder at public auction. This process is known as a Tax Deed Foreclosure.

Property owners have 2 years from the date taxes become delinquent before they risk loss of the property. As stated in Florida Statute 197.502, after the 2 year period has elapsed and taxes remain unpaid, the certificate holder may file a tax deed application with the Tax Collector's office.

The property owner may retain the property by redeeming the tax deed application any time before the property is sold at public auction. In other words, if delinquent property taxes are paid off while property is in a tax deed application status, the applicant is reimbursed for their total investment, accrued interest and the tax deed sale process is stopped.

The statute of limitation on tax certificates is seven (7) years. Therefore, should the taxes remain unpaid and the tax certificate holder does not elect to make application for tax deed within the seven year period, their investment is lost.

As part of the Tax Deed process, the Clerk of the Circuit Court sets the sale date and notifies the applicant of the additional costs associated with the sale, which the applicant must pay. These additional costs include the advertising cost, mailing cost and the Sheriff’s fees. Please note, the tax deed foreclosure process can take months to complete due to statutory requirements governing tax deed sales. Generally, tax deed sales are held in the Jury Auditorium on the 2nd Floor of the George E. Edgecomb Courthouse located at 800 East Twiggs Street, Tampa 33602.

For more information, you can visit the Clerk of the Circuit Court's website or contact our office. Tax Deed Sales and Lands Available Information.