Tax Collector for Palm Beach County: Tax certificates to be auctioned off

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. - The Tax Collector for Palm Beach County says 29,000 homeowners owe millions of dollars in taxes.

"We actually bend over backwards to work with the property owner here in Palm Beach County," explained Anne Gannon, the Constitutional Tax Collector for the county.

Gannon says her office sends notices for years to the homeowners, asking them to pay the taxes. For those who don't pay, this Saturday, the county will sell tax certificates for the homes to investors. The process allows the county to recoup money it's owed.

"If you have unpaid taxes, and I believe we had about $98 million this year, it means that our government agencies cannot fund the services that they provide to our citizens," she explained.

Investors pay the bid for the tax deed plus the taxes owed. If a homeowner decides to get the certificate back, they must pay the taxes, several fees, plus the interest rate. 

"The third year your taxes are unpaid, you actually could come in and redeem all those, but you have to pay all three years," Gannon said.

Gannon says it is a wonderful opportunity for investors, as the average interest rate is 3.5-4.5%. She warns, however, that the rules are complicated and the bid plus the taxes must be paid within 48 hours.

Click here to learn about tax certificate sales and see the auction listings.

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