Delinquent tax volume continues shrinkage

Published: Wednesday, June 26, 2013 at 18:10 PM.

The number and total value of the county’s delinquent tax certificates dropped off sharply this year, continuing their steady decline in recent years.

At the May 24 sale in the jury room on the third floor of the county courthouse, conducted by Tax Collector Jimmy Harris, the county sold 1,206 certificates, worth nearly $1.04 million. This total was a little more than a third of the $2.94 million sold off in 2009, when 1,791 certificates were snatched up by investors.

Over the past three years, the totals have steadily declined, from 1,668 certificates worth $2.36 million in 2010, to 1,585 tax certificates totaling $1.96 million in 2011, to 1,413 tax certificates worth $1.52 million last year.

“More people’s paying their taxes on time, or their mortgage companies,” said Harris. “The taxing districts are getting their money in a more timely fashion.”

As required by Florida statute, the county had to assume possession of all tax deeds under $250 for homesteaded properties, and these totaled $11,519, he said.

The county received a 5 percent commission from the sale of $48,319, Harris said. Also paid for out of the tax sale proceeds were the costs of advertising for three weeks prior to the sale, which totaled $27,642.

Harris, who was assisted at the sale by Sarah Braswell, one of the tax clerks, said about 65 people attended the sale, down by about a dozen from last year. He said the rates paid on the certificates were bid down considerably from a starting point of 1.5 percent per month, or 18 percent per year, simple interest.



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