Terms of Tax Certificate Sale
1. Bidders can review the list of properties and begin to submit bids starting May 3, 2023. Lots 1 through 4 are awarded every two hours beginning at 9:00 a.m. EST on June 1, 2023. The sale will be conducted on the tax certificate sale web site linked from the www.leontaxcollector.net home page. Bidders are not required to submit a deposit.
2. To register to bid, the following steps must be completed:
a) Complete online registration including the Participating Bidder Agreement.
b) Receive bidder number assignment.
Each bidder must provide his/her social security number or tax identification number and this information must match the information listed on the W-9 form. The tax certificate list, redemption checks and 1099 or 1042-S interest earnings will be issued exactly as indicated on the W-9 or W-8 form. Until the tax sale is complete, no changes will be made to the bidder number issued. A change of name or tax identification number will constitute a reassignment and is subject to transfer fees for each certificate changed.
Caution: This is not a sale of real property. You are bidding on the right to pay delinquent taxes in exchange for a lien (on the real property) for the amount of delinquent taxes plus interest. If you are awarded the bid and actually pay the taxes, then the Tax Collector will assign you a tax certificate (number).
Contact with property owners initiated by certificate owners to encourage payment at any time within the first 2 years of delinquency is prohibited (Section 197.432(14) F. S.). Contact or behavior of a certificate holder deemed unfair or deceptive may result in criminal prosecution. A tax deed application is the proper and legal method to compel payment.
3. Any “person” can register to bid on a tax certificate. According to Chapter 197.432(6), Florida Statutes, the “person” who will pay the taxes, interest, costs, and charges and will demand the lowest rate of interest, not in excess of the maximum rate allowed will be awarded the tax certificate.
4. The bidding entity has been issued an Employer Identification Number (EIN) by the United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
5. If a bidder is awarded a certificate and he/she determines the bid was submitted in error on the parcel, the bidder will be liable for the transaction and will be required to pay for the certificate.
6. The items will be auctioned in the order listed in the newspaper and on the web site. The delinquent taxes from prior years follow the list of current year delinquent properties. Bidders will be able to begin entering interest rates on the web site beginning the day that the first newspaper advertisement is published. Some items listed in the newspaper and on the web site will not be auctioned due to payments being received after the list was prepared for publication.
7. The internet tax sale uses proxy bidding in awarding tax certificates. Proxy bidding differs from bidding at a live sale in that at a live sale, a bidder will lower his bid in increments until he is the only bidder left or until the interest goes below his acceptable minimum level, at which point he would drop out. Proxy bidding is a form of competitive bidding in which bidders enter the minimum interest rate that they are willing to accept for each certificate. The tax certificate sale system will submit bids on behalf of each bidder. The result of the proxy system is that the electronic agent keeps lowering the bid to submit by one-quarter percent (.25%) increments until you are either the only bidder left, or until you reach the minimum bid you have set. Zero percent bids will not be treated as proxy bids. They will be awarded at zero percent. If you are the only bidder on a given certificate and your minimum rate is greater than zero percent, the auction software will award the certificate to you for the actual minimum bid you submitted. In the case of a tie at the winning bid rate, the system awards the certificate to one of the tie bidders through a random selection process using a random number generator. In no case will a bidder be awarded a certificate at a rate lower than his specified minimum acceptable rate.
8. After the sale is completed, final payment must be submitted / authorized via ACH Debit (U. S. funds only) on the Payments Page of the tax sale web site by 5:00 pm (EST) on the date provided on the Tax Certificate Sale Calendar. A bidder failing to make payment in the specified time will forfeit the purchase of the certificates and the certificates will be re-sold.
9. The Tax Collector reserves the right to cancel or correct certificates issued in error. Interest payments may be affected by bankruptcies, U.S. Marshal Seizures, property taken over by a receiver, etc.
10. The tax certificate sale is subject to Chapter 501.204(1), Florida Statute, regarding unlawful acts and practices and states: Unfair methods of competition, unconscionable acts or practices, and unfair or deceptive acts or practices in the conduct of any trade or commerce is hereby declared unlawful.
11. The Leon County Tax Collector has established these terms to ensure the integrity and fairness of the online tax certificate sale. The determination of whether a person has violated the terms of the Tax Sale rests in the sole discretion of the Tax Collector and her representative(s). If a violation is determined before certificates have been awarded, the offending person or persons may be prohibited from participating in the tax certificate sale or future tax certificate sales. If a violation is determined during the bid submission process, the bids of the offending person or persons will be cancelled and any certificates awarded will be re-auctioned.
12. According to Florida Statute 197.462, all tax certificates issued to an individual may be transferred at any time before they are redeemed or a tax deed is executed. The tax collector shall record the transfer on the record of tax certificates sold. The tax collector shall receive $2.25 as a service charge for each transfer.