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Whether you’re buying your first house or buying for the first time in Florida after owning a home in another state, you should know about Florida’s property tax system and how it applies to your new home.
Florida’s Property Tax System County property appraisers assess all real property in their counties as of January 1 each year. The property appraiser sends an annual Notice of Proposed Property Taxes in August to each property owner. After the local governments determine their annual budgets, the county tax collector sends a tax bill to each property owner in late October or November. The taxes are due by the following March 31. Please see this infographic for more information on Florida’s property tax system.
Homestead Exemption Every parcel of real property has a just value, an assessed value, and a taxable value. The just value is the property’s market value. The assessed value is the just value minus assessment limitations (see the Save Our Homes section below). The taxable value is the assessed value minus exemptions and is the value the tax collector uses to calculate the taxes due. The homestead exemption can result in exempting up to $50,000 of your home’s assessed value from tax liability. Please see our homestead exemption brochure for more details. Visit our taxpayer page to see if you qualify for other types of exemptions.
Save Our Homes Benefit After the first year a home receives the homestead exemption, its assessed value for each following year cannot increase more than 3 percent. The accumulated difference between the just value and the assessed value is the SOH benefit. You can read more about SOH in our brochure. Your Taxes vs. the Previous Owner’s Taxes Many first-time Florida homeowners are surprised when their tax bills are higher than the tax bills of the previous owner(s) or their neighbor(s). When the property changes ownership, Florida law requires the property appraiser to remove exemptions and reassess the property so the assessed value equals the just value. This takes effect on January 1 after you purchase the property. The previous owner’s exemption and SOH benefit stay with the property for the remainder of the tax (calendar) year in which you purchase your home, so your first tax bill will reflect the previous owner’s benefits if you bought the home before he or she paid that year’s tax bill. If you owned property on January 1 and apply for the homestead exemption by March 1, your tax bill for the year will reflect the reduction in taxable value, but the SOH benefit will not take effect until the following year. For example, you bought your home in September last year. The previous owner owned the home for 12 years and had the homestead exemption. The assessed value for last year was $110,000, and the taxable value was $60,000. After the property appraiser reassessed your home as of January 1 this year, the assessed value increased to $130,000. You applied for and received the homestead exemption, which lowered your taxable value to $80,000, an increase in your tax liability over the previous year. Next year, the SOH benefit will take effect, so your assessed value cannot increase more than 3 percent ($3,900). Before You Buy Before you purchase a home in Florida, you should ask for information about property taxes from a Florida licensed real estate agent, your mortgage lender, or the property appraiser’s office in the county where you plan to buy. Some property appraisers’ websites can give you a tax estimate based on the location of the home. Be sure to understand how your home will be taxed and how those taxes could increase and affect your homebuying budget. Where Can I Find More Inf
Property Tax Base Property Appraisers Florida’s Constitution requires property appraisers to establish the property tax base for their counties annually. In doing so, property appraisers determine the just, or market, value of each parcel of property in the county as of January 1 of each year. Then they apply all valid exemptions, classifications, and assessment limitations to determine each property’s taxable value, or relative tax burden. The property appraiser does not determine the property tax rate or the amount of property taxes levied. Department of Revenue The department reviews each county’s property tax rolls in July and August of every year. These reviews ensure that the just value that the property appraiser established is equitable, uniform, and in compliance with Florida law. The department also reviews and approves each property appraiser’s annual budget. NOTICE OF PROPOSED PROPERTY TAXES DO NOT PAY THIS IS NOT A BILL The taxing authorities which levy property taxes against your property will soon hold Public Hearings to adopt budgets and tax rates for the next year. The purpose of these Public Hearings is to receive opinions from the general public and to answer questions on the proposed tax change and budget Prior T o Taking Final Action. Each taxing authority may Amend or Alter its proposals at the hearing. Joe Q. Public 1234 Main Street Anytown, FL 32377 PT-902012 R. Additional information is available at http://floridarevenue.com/property/Pages/Home.aspx. 7 6 PROPERTY TAX OVERSIGHT Florida’s property taxes are administered by locally elected officials and supervised by the Florida Department of Revenue. Florida does not have a state-level property tax. Annual Truth-inMillage (TRIM) Notice Property Appraisers and Locally Elected Officials In August, the property appraiser sends each property owner a Notice of Proposed Property Taxes, or TRIM notice. This notice contains the property’s value on January 1, the millage rates proposed by each local government, and an estimate of the amount of property taxes the property owner owes based on the proposed millage rates. The date, time, and location of each local government’s budget hearing are also on the notice. This provides property owners the opportunity to attend the hearings and comment on the millage rates before approval. Department of Revenue The department verifies that the information from each local government is accurate and in compliance with Florida Truth-in-Millage requirements. Property Tax Rates Locally Elected Officials Florida has more than 640 local governments that levy a property tax. These include cities, counties, school boards, and special districts. Each year, usually in September, locally elected officials in each jurisdiction set a millage, or tax, rate for the upcoming fiscal year, usually beginning on October 1. Millage rates for each jurisdiction are uniform across all property types. Department of Revenue The department ensures that local government millage rates do not exceed state-mandated caps. In addition, the department confirms that local governments send notices and advertise public hearings to adopt millage rates and annual budgets properly and on time. 2 Appeals Process Value Adjustment Boards Each county has a five-member value adjustment board, which hears and rules on challenges to a property’s assessment, classification, or exemptions. The value adjustment board is independent of the property appraiser and tax collector. Value adjustment boards cannot change the millage, or property tax, rates local governments adopt. Department of Revenue The department provides annual training to value adjustment boards. The department also issues mandatory procedures and forms to promote fair, impartial, and uniform hearings for all taxpayers. Billing and Payment Tax Collectors After local governments adopt millage rates, county tax collectors send annual property tax bills, usually in late October or early November. Full payment is due by the following March 31. Taxpayers receive discounts of up to 4 percent for early payment. Department of Revenue The department provides training and certification to tax collectors and their staff to promote uniform and cost-effective tax collection practices. The department also reviews and approves most tax collectors’ annual budgets. Collections and Refunds Tax Collectors If a taxpayer does not pay a property tax bill by the following March 31, the tax collector sells a tax certificate on that property to collect the unpaid taxes. A tax deed may be sold if the property owner has not paid all back taxes, interest, and fees within two years. Tax collectors also process and issue refunds for overpayment of property taxes. Department of Revenue The department assists those who have questions about the local property tax process. The department also reviews property tax refunds of $2,500 or more to verify they were issued in accordance with Florida law. Funding of Public Education and Local Services Tax Collectors The tax collector distributes property taxes to the local governments and taxing authorities. Roughly 50 percent of Florida’s public education funding and 30 percent of its local government revenues come from property taxes. Department of Revenue The department provides statistics to the Department of Education to ensure adequate funding for public education.