Florida’s ever-changing ad valorem property tax system has become increasingly complex and confusing to taxpayers, real estate professionals and local officials. Answers to frequently asked questions may assist in the understanding of property assessment and administration.
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The Florida Legislature created the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights for Florida property owners (section 192.0105, Florida Statutes). It guarantees your rights, privacy and property are safeguarded during the assessment, levy, collection and enforcement of property taxes.
Market value is defined as the most probable sale price for a property in a competitive, open market involving a willing buyer and seller. The market value assessment is unencumbered and may increase or decrease as the market dictates.
Florida law charges the property appraiser with the task of valuing all property that is not immune from taxation, or otherwise expressly exempt from valuation. Pursuant to Article VII of the Florida Constitution and s. 195.042, F.S., all property shall be assessed according to its market value on January 1 each year. Additionally, the ad valorem (“according to value”) assessment process is governed by Florida law, including s. 193.011, F.S.
The property appraiser considers three generally accepted approaches in the development of market value estimates: the cost approach, sales comparison approach and the income approach. The applicability of each approach depends on the character of the property and the availability of market data.
Property taxes are calculated as follows:
Taxable Value x Millage (tax) Rate = Property Taxes
The taxable value equals the assessed value minus exemptions as of January 1 (each year) by the property appraiser. The millage (tax) rates are determined by the various taxing authorities.
No, the property appraiser cannot lower your taxes or tax rates. Tax rates are set by your local taxing authorities, such as School Board, Board of County Commissioners, Water Management District (SFWMD), Municipalities, Special Voter-approved Districts, and Independent Special Districts.
Homestead exemption is up to $50,000 in reduction to the assessed value of your home. It is granted to eligible property owners who: 1) possess legal or equitable title to real property; 2) are bona fide Florida residents living in the dwelling and making it their permanent residence on January 1; and 3) file an initial application by March 1.
The first $25,000 of assessed value is entirely exempt from ad-valorem taxes. The additional $25,000 exemption applies only to the assessed value between $50,000 and $75,000 and is not exempt from school district tax levies.
This also establishes your base year for capping purposes. After your base year your assessed value cannot increase more than 3% or CPI.
No, the assessed value of a property with an existing homestead exemption is capped – not the taxes.
In 1992, the voters of Florida approved Amendment 10, which is also known as the ‘Save Our Homes’ (SOH) amendment, that provided for limiting (“capping”) increases in existing homestead property valuations for ad valorem tax purposes (with the exception of properties with new construction, additions and/or renovations). The SOH cap limits the annual increase in the assessed value (not the taxes) of a homesteaded property to:
- a 3% assessed value increase from the prior year, or
- the percent change in the Consumer Price Index (CPI), whichever is lower.
You don’t need to do anything to receive this assessment increase limitation. The property appraiser will assess your property every year as of January 1 and apply the 10% assessment increase limitation to eligible non-homestead property that did not change ownership or control in the previous calendar year. If a non-homestead property changes ownership or control and a deed is not recorded with county clerk of court, the new owner is required to file a Form DR-430 Change of Ownership or Control with the property appraiser in the county where the property is located within 60 days of the change of ownership or control. When a non-homestead property changes ownership or control, the current 10% assessment increase limitation is removed from the property, the property is assessed at just value, and a new 10% assessment increase limitation is put in place as of January 1 in the year following the change of ownership or control. Approved by voters in the 2008 election.
Each applicant will have to fill out an application (form DR-501T) in the office of the property appraiser of the county in which their new home is located. Required information will include the following: the date which the previous homestead was sold or no longer used as a homestead, the address and parcel identification number of the previous homestead, a list of all other owners listed on the tax roll, an affirmative statement that none of the previous owners remained in the homestead and continued to receive a homestead exemption, and a sworn statement attesting to his or her entitlement to the assessment difference transfer. See the frequently asked questions on portability at http://dor.myflorida.com/dor/property/portfaqs.pdf.
No, once the initial application has been approved (granted), the exemption will be automatically renewed each January and a renewal notice will be mailed to you (keep it as your receipt). If you are still eligible, no action is required. However, it is your responsibility to notify the property appraiser if your eligibility for exemptions has changed.
In accordance with F.S. 193.075 – If the owner of the mobile home is also the owner if the land on which the mobile home is permanently affixed, the mobile home shall be taxed as “Real Property” A real property decal is required per F.S. 320.0815(2). This is a requirement for homestead exemption.
Details on applying for additional exemptions can be found on the Exemptions page of this website. The Exemptions page will provide you with a list of exemptions, an explanation of the exemption and required forms.
If you think the value shown on your Notice of Proposed Taxes is inaccurate, you are encouraged to contact your property appraiser’s office to speak with an appraiser. The appraiser can show you the information used to determine your property’s value.
If the seller had homestead exemption, the buyer may have the advantage of the seller’s homestead exemption for the remainder of the sale year. However, the “carried over” homestead exemption will be removed as of December 31st of the sale year. The new owner must apply in person by the deadline for homestead exemption to be in their name for the following year. For example, if you purchase a homesteaded home in June of 2020, you will get the benefit of the previous owner’s homestead exemption until December 31, 2020. For 2021, you must file an original homestead exemption application by March 1, 2021.
Citizenship is not a requirement to file for homestead exemption. However, an applicant who is not a U.S. citizen must prove that they have permanent residency status when they apply. Please bring your INS issued permanent residency photo ID card when filing a homestead application.
The applicant must furnish this office with a copy of the trust agreement. Florida law specifies those situations under which the resident may obtain homestead exemption. The Florida Constitution requires that the homestead claimant have legal title or beneficial title in equity to the property.
In 1992, voters approved Amendment 10 a/k/a The Save Our Homes (SOH) Amendment to the State Constitution. Prior to its 1994 effective date, Governor Chiles and his Cabinet approved implementing rule 12D8.0062 that became part of the Florida Administrative Code and later became known as The Recapture Rule. The rule requires property appraisers to annually increase assessed values on homestead properties whose market values are greater than last year’s assessed value by 3% or the Consumer Price Index (CPI), whichever is less. Therefore, if you have previously-accrued SOH benefits, your assessed value will increase even though your market value decreased.
Yes, a property tax estimator is available on the Home Page under Quick Links.
Florida law requires annual assessments of all property. Real estate values are established by buyers and sellers acting independently. If sale prices in your area increase or decrease, the market value of your property will increase or decrease. This is basic supply and demand of the marketplace.
The market value of comparable properties should be similar. However, your neighbor may have owned the property for a long time and have a homestead exemption, thereby benefitting from lower assessed and taxable values. Parcels that have an approved homestead exemption are also entitled to a Save Our Homes Differential (SOHD), which limits increases in property valuations. Also, different exemptions, assessment reductions and classifications may impact the taxable value.
In late-August, the Notice of Proposed Tax Form, also known as Truth in Millage (TRIM) notices, are prepared and mailed each year by the Property Appraiser on behalf of the Taxing Authorities pursuant to Florida law. The TRIM notice has the taxable value of your property. Taxable value is the just value less any assessment reductions minus exemptions. The TRIM notice also gives you information on proposed millage rates and taxes as estimated by your county taxing authorities. It also tells you when and where these authorities will hold public meetings to discuss tentative budgets to set your millage tax rates. The Hendry County Tax Collector will send each taxpayer a tax bill on or before November 1st.