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For those with money to invest, Volusia County will begin its annual auction of tax certificates Friday, May 12. The sale, which takes place entirely via the internet, ends May 31.

A tax certificate is an instrument an investor may purchase by paying the unpaid 2022-23 ad valorem taxes, special assessments and fees due on a parcel of property whose owner has not paid them. The unpaid taxes became delinquent April 1.

The purchaser of a tax certificate agrees to pay in full all of the past-due taxes, plus a 3-percent service fee for advertising and an interest rate to be determined at the time of the auction. The interest rate starts at a high of 18 percent per year, and prospective buyers may bid lower. The lowest bidder wins the right to purchase the certificate. The purchaser must pay the amount due when the tax certificate is issued.

If the owner of the property does not pay the overdue taxes after two years, the tax-certificate holder may start the process to force the sale of the property to satisfy the debt. A tax certificate becomes a primary lien on the property.

If the tax-certificate holder decides after two years to force the sale of the property to recover his/her investment, the property may be sold at auction, and the purchaser will be given a tax deed as title to the property.

Once a tax certificate is issued, the property owner may, through May 31, redeem the tax certificate by paying the past-due taxes plus fees and the interest due from the sale.

The total number of properties for which tax certificates may be issued is not yet available, as some property owners may pay the overdue taxes before the start of the auction, and even before the auction ends at 5 p.m. May 31.

Last year, the Tax Collector’s Office advertised a total of 17,328 parcels whose taxes had become delinquent. When the auction began, however, there were 14,025 tax certificates available for purchase, according to Holly Smith, the agency’s public-affairs administrator.

“As real estate sales increase and people refinance properties, taxes are paid at closing,” Smith wrote in a reply to a query from The Beacon. “Sales and refinancing that occurred in 2022 could have an effect on the decreased number of unpaid tax bills currently advertised.”

For a list of properties for which tax certificates may be issued, go to The site lists the properties and the amounts of taxes owed.

For more information about the tax-certificate sale, contact the Volusia County Tax Collector’s Office at 386-736-5938 or visit


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