This study examines the market for delinquent property tax certificates, a commonly used enforcement mechanism in property tax systems around the United States. We model the value of such certificates using a continuous-time framework and propose a statistical model that allows testing for factors that affect interest rates charged by investors who purchase the certificates as investment instruments. Using sample data from tax certificate sales in Florida from 1982 to 2000, we find that interest rates on certificates are negatively and significantly related to assessed property value and homestead status, and positively related to local ownership. We find an inverse relationship between interest rates and the number of certificates purchased by the certificate investor, indicating a significant clientele effect in this market. We also find that the implied effective tax rate is positively related to the interest rates charged by investors. Overall, the findings provide insight into the function of this unique market niche.
The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 18, 2004
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