Ruth Pietruszewski, Martin County Tax Collector, Reminds Taxpayers That Taxes Become Delinquent The Same Time Every Year — April 1

Real property taxes become  delinquent April 1 of each year. Please help keep your cost and the cost of your government down by paying your property taxes on time. At that time, 3 percent interest and advertising fees are added to the gross tax. A list of all real estate property with delinquent taxes is advertised once a week for three consecutive weeks in a local newspaper during the month of May. The advertisement specifies the place, date and time of the Tax Certificate Sale. This advertised information is required by Florida Law and is not intended to be embarrassing or intimidating. The notice serves as a reminder to contact this office immediately for payment, if your taxes have not been paid for the 2022 tax roll. Current law provides that taxes on these listed properties will be recovered through the sale of tax certificates.

Beginning on or before June 1, the tax collector is required by law to hold a tax certificate sale. The certificates represent liens on all unpaid real estate properties. The sale allows citizens to buy certificates by paying the owed tax debt. The sale is held online.

A tax certificate, when purchased, becomes an enforceable first lien against the real estate. The certificate holder is actually paying the taxes for a property owner in exchange for a competitive bid rate of return on his investment. They make it possible for the owner(s) of real property to allow ad valorem property taxes to become delinquent and continue to use their property for two years (or more) before actually paying the bill (plus interest and costs). During this period, investors pay the delinquent tax bills at negotiated rates of interest lending the delinquent property owners money in order to continue using their property before paying the bill or surrendering the title to the property. The payment of property taxes provides the county, school board, and municipalities the revenue to provide necessary services for Martin County taxpayers. Tax certificates assist in funding the government's expenses in the interim time taxes are delinquent. The system for collecting delinquent ad valorem property taxes is defined in great detail in the Florida Statutes, Attorney General's Opinions, and Department of Revenue's rules and regulations, per F.S. 197.122, F.S. 197.332, F.S. 197.343, F.S. 197.402, F.S. 197.403, F.S. 197.432.

A tax certificate is valid for seven years from the date of issuance. The holder may apply for a tax deed when two or more years have elapsed since the date of delinquency. If the property owner fails to pay the tax debt, the property tax deed is sold at public auction. In order to remove the lien, the property owner must pay the tax collector all delinquent taxes plus accrued interest, penalties and advertising fees. The tax collector then notifies the certificate holder of any certificates redeemed and a refund check is then issued to the certificate holder. Although it is a secure investment in most cases, there is an element of risk in purchasing tax certificates. F.S. 197.472(2) states that tax lien certificates are guaranteed an interest rate return of a flat (non-accruing) 5 percent or your bid, on an APR basis, whichever is greater.



Martin County Property Appraiser's Office

Attention New Home Buyers!

When buying real estate property, you should not assume that property taxes will remain the same. Whenever there is a change in ownership, the assessed value of the property may reset to the full market value, which may result in higher property taxes.