If you own property in Hernando County, you must pay taxes each year. The Property Appraiser determines the value of your property and the amount of taxes you owe to the Tax Collector. Taxes are due by November 1st of each year but may be paid through March 31st. Discounts are allowed for early payments, but a 3% penalty will be imposed beginning April 1st. Items remaining unpaid by Mid-April will be advertised in the local paper for three (3) consecutive weeks in May in an effort to notify the property owners. If these taxes are still outstanding, tax certificates for such properties will be sold.
Tax Certificate Sales
The tax certificate sale is handled by the Tax Collector's Office; should you have questions, please contact their office at (352)754-4180. A tax certificate represents a tax lien on a property; it does not convey title to the land. A tax certificate sale for all items remaining unpaid must be held each year by the end of May. The sale is held online at www.hernandotaxsale.com. The tax certificate is sold to a registered bidder who will pay the property owner's tax and accept the lowest interest rate when redemption is made. A certificate is an interest-bearing lien and the interest rate may vary from 0% to 18%.
Once a certificate is sold, the property owner may redeem the certificate by paying the taxes along with any penalty, advertising costs, fees and interest. If the certificate is not redeemed within a two-year time period, the certificate holder may begin proceedings for a tax deed sale.
Tax Deed Sales
Upon application for a tax deed by the certificate holder, a tax and title search is done by an abstract company to determine if there are any other outstanding taxes on the property. If there are, the applicant pays these and the outstanding taxes become part of the starting bid at the actual tax deed sale. Once the search is completed, certification is made and the application is transferred from the Tax Collector's Office to the Clerk of Circuit Court. Once the Clerk receives the application, he will notify the property owner(s) and all interested lien holders of record that the property will be sold at public auction unless the taxes and any applicable fees are paid. The property is then advertised for four consecutive weeks prior to the tax deed sale with the applicant paying the advertising costs as part of the opening bid.
All properties for sale can be found on the sale list, which includes the base bid and the parcel number; additional information included in the tax deed file may be viewed by clicking on the "View" link when searching tax deeds. The sales are held the first Friday of every month (unless it is a holiday) online at www.hernando.realtaxdeed.com. Property is auctioned to the highest bidder. The highest bidder is required to pay a non-refundable cash deposit of 5% of the bid or $200.00, whichever is greater. The remaining balance of the purchase price must be received within 24 hours of sale. Purchase price is payable at the Clerk's Office by cashier's check, money order or cash; personal checks are not accepted for the bid amount.
When considering tax deed properties, please be advised that ALL PROPERTIES ARE SOLD "BUYER BEWARE".
Mobile homes are not included on the Tax Deed. Transfer of the mobile home title is the responsibility of the Purchaser.
Property that lists the County as the applicant or that is homestead and does not sell at the tax deed sale is placed on the list of lands available for taxes.
To view subdivision plat maps reflecting the legal description of property to be sold, please visit the Official Records Search and search "Plats". You may also visit the Recording Division located in Room 362.
To view acreage maps reflecting the legal description of property to be sold, please visit the Property Appraiser's office or visit their website at www.co.hernando.fl.us/pa.
For further information regarding tax deeds, please contact the Recording Division at (352)540-6768.
Overbid Surplus Funds
If there are excess ("surplus") funds after the sale, the Clerk will hold those funds for one year. If you believe that you are entitled to a portion of those funds because of a subordinate lien on the property or because you are the former property owner, you must submit an Affidavit of Claim to the Clerk's Office at: Hernando County Clerk, Recording/Tax Deed Division, Room 362, 20 North Main Street, Brooksville, FL 34601. Any funds not claimed within the one year period will be transferred to the Department of State. To claim funds that are held by the Department of State, please submit a claim to Florida Unclaimed Property, P.O. Box 8599, Tallahassee, FL 32314-8599 or call (888)258-2253.