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The purpose of the annual Tax Lien Sale is to collect the delinquent real estate taxes owed to Franklin County school districts, agencies, and local governments.


Ohio Revised Code sections 5721.30 to 5721.43 permit the Franklin County Treasurer to collect delinquent real property taxes by selling tax lien certificates in exchange for payment of the entire delinquency.

All eligible tax lien certificates are bundled together and sold as part of a single portfolio. The Treasurer's liens are transferred to the purchaser, who is entitled to recover the purchase price and accruing interest. Unlike other states, Ohio law does not provide for the sale of individual tax lien certificates or "over-the-counter" liens.

All Franklin County properties with delinquent taxes are eligible to be sold at the tax lien certificate sale. To be eligible for the sale, the property may not already be set for a sheriff sale, be in bankruptcy, already have a tax contract, be tax-exempt or have a pending tax exemption application.

Amounts due will include an administrative fee that increases from $125.00 when initial notification is sent, to $250.00 total when certified mail is initiated, and then $350.00 plus 6% interest on the sale date.

Prior to a tax lien certificate being sold, a property owner will have received at least three tax bills that were not paid. A property owner also will have received multiple notices about the delinquent taxes, including information about the upcoming certificate sale. Finally, the property owner and property location will have been published in the newspaper.

Additionally, the Treasurer's Office typically sends a warning letter to delinquent property owners informing them about the potential sale of the lien certificate on their property. If taxes are not paid in full or if a payment plan is not arranged within the time constraints identified in the warning letter, certified letters are mailed to all delinquent property owners listed for inclusion in the sale.

All payments on delinquent properties set to have liens sold in the tax lien certificate sale are required to be paid with guaranteed funds such as cash, money order or certified/cashier's check. 

The tax lien certificate sale is generally held in October each year but can also be negotiated with the County Land Bank.