Real Estate Tax

Tax Certificate Overview

Tax Certificate Process In Hillsborough County

A tax certificate is a first lien created when a third party (tax certificate holder or investor) pays the outstanding delinquent taxes on a property. A tax certificate is an interest bearing “lien” for unpaid real estate and non-advalorem assessments. They are a first lien against property and supersedes governmental liens.

Certain risks are involved when purchasing tax certificates. The Tax Collector assumes no liability for the purchase of any tax certificate and does not guarantee the value or condition of the property on which they are issued. Holding a tax certificate on a property does not entitle the purchaser to enter the property and does not convey property rights.

The tax certificate’s face amount consists of the sum of the following: delinquent real estate tax (unpaid amount), interest (3% on the delinquent amount), Tax Collector’s commission (5% on the delinquent amount) and the newspaper’s advertising charge (& sale costs or other costs).

On or before June 1st, the tax collector’s office conducts an annual Tax Certificate Sale to collect the preceding year’s unpaid taxes and associated fees.

Upon redemption of delinquent taxes, accrued interest and advertising costs, the Tax Collector’s office then reimburses the tax certificate holder/investor all monies due.

If there are any delinquent properties that do not receive a bid, those tax certificates are issued to the county at 18%. These county held tax certificates will become available for purchase at a date to be determined by the Tax Collector.

The life of a tax certificate is 7 years. In the event of a bankruptcy filing, the life of a tax certificate may be extended. If no action is taken by the tax certificate holder during the 7 year period, and the taxes remain unpaid, the tax certificate is cancelled due to the Statute of Limitation, which will result in the loss of your investment.

If the property owner fails to pay delinquent taxes within two (2) years from the date of delinquency, the tax certificate holder/ investor may file a tax deed application. A tax deed application may result in a Tax Deed Foreclosure.