Annual Certificate Sale - Bidders to compete for interest on tax-delinquent properties

Apr 30, 2019

FORT MYERS, Fla. (April 30, 2019) – Investors looking for Lee County real estate should circle April 29 on their calendars. That’s the date Lee County Tax Collector Larry Hart will open registration for the annual Tax Certificate Sale of properties with unpaid real property taxes. The auction-style sale takes place on May 21 from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. online at

Tax certificates represent liens for delinquent taxes, interest and charges associated with the properties involved in the sale. Tax certificate holders pay the delinquent taxes to the county in exchange for the chance to reap interest of as much as 18% per year.


“The auction takes care of tax delinquencies that would otherwise drain resources from the people of Lee County, and it’s a chance to make a real estate investment that could really pay off,” Hart said. “It’s definitely worth checking out.”


Buying a certificate isn’t the same as buying the property, but beginning April 1, 2021, anyone holding a certificate issued in this year’s sale that has not been paid or redeemed can apply for a tax deed to sell the land. That right expires along with the certificate on May 21, 2026.


Each certificate goes to the bidder willing to accept the lowest interest rate. The bidding starts at 18% and progresses downward in 0.25% increments. Any certificate that isn’t bid on will be issued to the county and available for purchase from after the auction.


To learn about certificate redemptions, transfers and cancelations, visit To become a registered bidder, go to Registration closes May 13 at 11:59 p.m.