Dear Toby: Why are 4 Conservatory Lots on the Tax Deed Sale List?

The unlikely sale of Conservatory lots at a Tax Deed Sale highlight what happens in Florida when property taxes become delinquent.

Palm Coast, FL – September 18 –  What happens when a Florida property owner refuses or neglects to pay property taxes? After two years, the properties may be sold at a public Tax Deed sale. This little-understood event, typically featuring marginal properties, represents a small percentage of the overall market. That’s why the recent appearance on the sale list of four lots within Ginn’s Conservatory community got’s attention.
Tax Certificate – When property taxes become delinquent, they become subject to a Tax Certificate Sale, a public auction. The winning bidder pays the delinquent tax plus penalties, accumulated interest, and other fees. A tax certificate does not convey an ownership change. It is simply an investment vehicle. If the following year’s tax also become delinquent, another Tax Certificate Sale is held. The winning bidder may not be the same party holding the previous year’s certificate. At any time, the property owner can "redeem" the certificates by paying the outstanding balance plus accumulated interest.
Tax Deed Sale – Two years (and up to seven years) after purchasing a Tax Certificate, the certificate holder may initiate a Tax Deed Sale; again, a public auction. The certificate holder must first redeem all other outstanding tax certificates associated with the property, paying the outstanding balances and accumulated interest, to the holders of those certificates. It was just over two years ago when tax delinquncies began to show up at the Conservatory. [See story]
The Tax Deed Sale is a public auction. By statute, it must be properly advertised. Parties with a legal interest must receive proper notice. The minimum bid (with certain exceptions for homesteaded properties) is the sum of all delinquent taxes, penalties, fees, and accumulated interest. The winning bidder receives a Certificate of Title.
Taxes become delinquent when owners are unable to pay or when the paper trail is lost; for instance when the owner dies and heirs are unaware of the property or the owner moves and the new address is not provided to the Clerk of Courts. The list of properties for sale on October 20, 2009 consists of properties in the Daytona North, Flagler Estates, and St. John’s subdivisions, plus 4 Lots in Ginn’s Conservatory.
The Conservatory lots originally listed for sale (one has since been redeemed) are:
  • Lot 66 – 132 Marsh Elder Square – Originally purchased for $369,900. Estimated opening bid: $16,357.47. Liened: Yes
  • Lot 173 – 403 Bourganville Dr – Originally purchased for 439,900. Estimated opening bid: $16,514.26. Liened: Yes
  • Lot 16 – 808 Loblolly Ct – Originally purchased for $425,900. Estimated opening bid: $15,202.90. Liened: Yes
  • Lot 120 – 614 Mahogany Run – Purchased for $404,900. REDEEMED

Nine of the fort-three Conservatory lots currently listed for sale in MLS are priced below $40,000. Two of these, both bank-owned, carry prices of $29,900 and $27,900 respectively. 

The Tax Deed sale is set for October 20, 2009 at 9:00 am in the Clerk of Courts recording lobby. Please visit the Clerk of Court website to gain an understanding of the legal issues pertaining to Tax Deed Sales. Do not venture into the process without the advice of a qualified attorney.

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2 replies
  1. Lorraine
    Lorraine says:

    US1 and Matanzas

    Hi Toby –

    I notice there is some activity going on on US1 and Matanzas PKWY across from Saw Mill Creek.

    Is there any information you can share with us.


  2. Toby
    Toby says:

    Reply to Lorraine

    The activity at the corner of US1 and Matanzas Woods Pkwy is part of Palm Coast Park, a really big mixed-use development. The northeast corner will probably be another Publix-anchored plaza like the new one on SR100 at Roberts Road. I do not expect construction to begin soon since Publix bought the Albertson on Belle Terre.

    The southeast corner is also zoned commercial for future development. The west side is commercial on the US1 frontage with industrial behind.

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