Real Estate taxes become delinquent on April 1st of each year. After real estate taxes have become delinquent, they are advertised in a local newspaper and the advertising and collection costs are added proportionately to each delinquent tax bill.
On or before June 1st, the Tax Collector must conduct a tax certificate sale for unpaid taxes on each parcel of property. The sale is operated on a competitive bid basis with interest bids beginning at 18% and progressing downward. When a certificate is sold against a piece of property, the successful bidder pays the delinquent taxes on that property and holds a certificate which constitutes a first lien against the property.
To redeem the certificate, the owner of the property must pay the Tax Collector the delinquent taxes plus accrued interest, advertising cost, and fees. The Tax Collector will reimburse the certificate holder all monies due and the property will be free of that tax lien.
If the tax certificate is not redeemed within two years, the certificate holder may file a tax deed application with the Tax Collector. The property owner is notified of this action and, if the taxes are not paid, the Seminole County Clerk of the Circuit Court conducts a public auction and sells the property to the highest bidder.