Terms of Sale

Modified on 04/09/2019


1.       On June 1st, 2019 at 11:00 am EDT tax certificates will be awarded for the delinquent 2018 taxes from the bids submitted online. The sale will be conducted on the tax sale auction web site linked from the home page.


2.       To register to bid, you must complete the following steps from the Martin County Tax Sale link located on the home page:

  a)  Complete online registration including the Participating Bidder Agreement.

  b)  Receive bidder number assignment.

  c)  Complete IRS Form W-9/W-8.

          Each bidder must provide his/her social security number or tax identification number and this information must match the information listed on the W-9 or W-8 form.   The tax certificate list, redemption checks and 1099 or 1042-S interest earnings will be issued exactly as indicated on the W-9 or W-8 form.  Until the tax sale is complete, no transfers will be made to the bidder number issued.  A change of name or tax identification number will constitute a reassignment and is subject to transfer fees for each certificate changed.


          Caution:  This is not a sale of real property.  You are bidding on the right to pay delinquent taxes in exchange for a lien (on the real property) for the amount of delinquent taxes plus interest and fees.  If you are awarded the bid and actually pay the taxes, then the Tax Collector’s Office will assign you a tax certificate (number).


          Contact with property owners initiated by certificate owners to encourage payment at any time within the first 2 years of delinquency is prohibited (Section 197.502(1) F. S). Contact or behavior of a certificate holder deemed unfair or deceptive may result in criminal prosecution.  A tax deed application is the proper and legal method to compel payment.


3.       If a bidder is awarded a certificate and he/she determines the bid was submitted in error on the parcel, the bidder will be liable for the transaction and will be required to pay for the certificate.


4.       Bidders must set their maximum award limit. Failure to set this limit will result in zero bids being awarded. This spending limit can be found on the bidder maintenance screen as field “Maximum Award Amount Limit” The entry you make will set the total amount of your desired investment. You are responsible for setting this limit!


5.       The Tax Collector requires the payment of a reasonable deposit from every person desiring to bid in the tax sale in the amount of 10% of the amount they intend to purchase.


6.       The submission of mass bid files must be completed by 5:00 pm EDT on Thursday, May 30, 2019. This will insure that your bids are properly recorded and will allow for assistance should you encounter problems. Imported files are not allowed following this cutoff date and time.


7.       The items will be auctioned in the order listed in the newspaper and on the web site.  The delinquent taxes from prior years follow the list of current year delinquent properties.  Bidders will be able to begin entering interest rates on the web site beginning the day that the first newspaper advertisement is published.  Some items listed in the newspaper and on the web site will not be auctioned due to payments being received after the list was prepared for publication.


8.       The internet tax sale uses proxy bidding in awarding tax certificates.  Proxy bidding differs from bidding at a live sale in that at a live sale, a bidder will lower his bid in increments until he is the only bidder left or until the interest goes below his acceptable minimum level, at which point he would drop out.  Proxy bidding is a form of competitive bidding in which bidders enter the minimum interest rate that they are willing to accept for each certificate.  The tax certificate sale system will submit bids on behalf of each bidder.  The result of the proxy system is that the electronic agent keeps lowering the bid to submit by quarter percent increments until you are either the only bidder left, or until you reach the minimum bid you have set. Zero percent bids will not be treated as proxy bids.  They will be awarded at zero percent.  If you are the only bidder on a given certificate and your minimum rate is greater than zero percent, the auction software will award the certificate to you for the actual minimum bid you submitted.  In the case of a tie at the winning bid rate, the system awards to one of the tie bidders through a random selection process using a random number generator.  In no case will a bidder be awarded a certificate at a rate lower than his specified minimum acceptable rate.


9.       After the sale is completed, final payment must be submitted / authorized no later than 11:00 am EDT on Wednesday, June 5th, 2019 via ACH Debit (U. S. funds only) on the Payments Page of the tax sale web site.  A bidder failing to make payment in the specified time will forfeit the purchase of the certificates and the certificates will be re-sold.


10.     The Tax Collector’s Office reserves the right to cancel or correct certificates issued in error.  Interest payments may be affected by bankruptcies, U.S. Marshal Seizures, property taken over by a receiver, etc. 


11.     The tax certificate sale is subject to Chapter 501.204(1), Florida Statute, regarding unlawful acts and practices and states:  Unfair methods of competition, unconscionable acts or practices, and unfair or deceptive acts or practices in the conduct of any trade or commerce is hereby declared unlawful.


12.     The Martin County Tax Collector has established these terms to ensure the integrity and fairness of the online tax certificate sale. The determination of whether a person has violated the terms of the Tax Sale rests in the sole discretion of the Tax Collector and her representative(s). If a violation is determined before certificates have been awarded, the offending person or persons may be prohibited from participating in the tax certificate sale or future tax certificate sales. If a violation is determined during the bid submission process, the bids of the offending person or persons will be cancelled and any certificates awarded will be re-auctioned.


13.      According to Florida Statute 197.462 all tax certificates issued to an individual may be transferred at any time before they are redeemed or a tax deed is executed. The tax collector shall record the transfer on the record of tax certificates sold. The tax collector shall receive $2.25 as a service charge for each transfer.


14.     The Martin County Tax Collector’s Office has the responsibility to administer the tax certificate sale and is charged to hold the sale in a fair and equitable manner.  Only the Tax Collector or his designee may conduct and control the sale.  The Tax Collector shall not allow bidders to control or attempt to conduct the sale or interfere with its conduct. The “Tax Certificate Sale Guidelines and Procedures” published by the Florida Department of Revenue are to be followed.  These guidelines and procedures define “bidders” and “agents”.  Section 12 specifically provides:

“12. Rotational Bidding:  Rotational Bidding is a violation of the law.  Rotational bidding means any system, procedure or behavior, established or encouraged or allowed to be established or encouraged, whereby two or more bidders at the sale or any bidder together with the tax collector, prevent or attempt to prevent free, open and competitive bidding on each and every tax sale certificate.”

“If a tax collector observes any type of rotational bidding, the tax collector should take whatever measures are necessary to prevent the occurrence or continuance of rotational bidding.  These measures may include removing a bidder who attempts to disrupt a sale.”

In the event that the Martin County Tax Collector’s Office or their designee observes any type of rotational bidding, by any bidders that bid in a manner to prevent a free and open competitive auction, the bid(s) shall be disallowed.  Specifically, should an agent provide bids for tax certificate sale items that are identical or substantially similar so as to provide an advantage, these bids shall be deemed to prevent or attempt to prevent free, open and competitive bidding.

The Martin County Tax Collector’s Office has provided a mechanism for bidders to manually enter bids or to submit bids electronically.  Any automated program used to access the auction shall be deemed as an attempt to prevent free, open and competitive bidding.  Should the Tax Collector or his designee observe the use of an automated program during the tax certificate sale, the offending bidder(s) may be removed from the tax certificate sale and deposits may be forfeited.  Any bidders deemed as attempting to prevent free, open and competitive bidding during a tax certificate sale shall be contacted by the Martin County Tax Collector or his designee regarding their exclusion from the sale and/or deposit forfeiture.

Agreement to the Terms of Sale includes the acknowledgement by the user that he/she has read and accepts the terms and conditions defined in the disclaimer and privacy policy for this web site located in the “Disclaimer” link.