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Large investors buy up most tax certificates

More people are paying off their real estate taxes, and as a
result, fewer people are buying up their delinquent taxes.

County Tax Collector Rick Watson said last month’s sale of
delinquent taxes yielded about $876,410 in sales, with 711 individual
certificates. This represents fewer total certificates, but a slightly higher total
value, than last year.

“Overall, the numbers were similar to last year, when the
county began by advertising for about $1.5 million in delinquent taxes for
about 1,300 parcels,” said Watson. “We had that total whittled in half by the
day of the live sale, during which the county sold off about 800 certificates
worth about $768,000.

“It has gradually decreased and this is probably about the
standard we can expect from year to year.”

Watson said just shy of $51,500 certificates, a total of 88, were struck to become county certificates, and those are being sold off, on a first come,
first served basis, beginning June 11.

Watson said the average interest paid was 5.5 percent. “Internet
auctions decrease the interest rate, which benefits the owner of the property,”
he said.

He said of the 64 total bidders, 29 of them were awarded
delinquent tax certificates. “There were less than a dozen that bid on most of
them,” Watson said.

The six highest bidders were largely investors from other places,
including North Carolina, Texas, Arkansas and Miami, Plantation, New Smyrna
Beach and Hollywood, Florida. The top six bidders made total investments of
approximately $132,000, $120,000, $111,000, $97,000, $76,000, $50,000 and

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Meet the Editor

David Adlerstein, The Apalachicola Times’ digital editor, started with the news outlet in January 2002 as a reporter.

Prior to then, David Adlerstein began as a newspaperman with a small Boston weekly, after graduating magna cum laude from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. He later edited the weekly Bellville Times, and as business reporter for the daily Marion Star, both not far from his hometown of Columbus, Ohio.

In 1995, he moved to South Florida, and worked as a business reporter and editor of Medical Business newspaper. In Jan. 2002, he began with the Apalachicola Times, first as reporter and later as editor, and in Oct. 2020, also began editing the Port St. Joe Star.

Wendy Weitzel The Star Digital Editor

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