Dec 042014

Florida Property Taxes

Florida property taxes

Florida property taxes are calculated a little differently to other states. This is a quick and easy look at how this works.

On the first day of January every year, the county property appraiser is supposed to determine the value of each property. The valuation takes into consideration the size of a home, its improvements, any negative influences, and local market trends.

The determined value, is then published as the “accessed” value on a country property appraisers website. Also published is a rate that should be applied to the value in order to calculate the amount of property taxes owed. The rate is called the “millage” rate and is quoted as a whole number called a “mil”. Each mil represents 0.001 of the assessed property value. The typical mil rates in Florida are usually 16-20 mils.

Therefore, as an example a property accessed at $100,000 will be taxed $2,000 in an area that has a mil rate of 20.

It is important to note that assessed values are continually changing in line with market conditions and local property influences (think hurricanes, sinkholes and foreclosures). However, the property appraisers are not always able to get to re-accessing every property’s value annually. Instead, an automated system us used to re-access values, however, the system estimates values about 12 – 15 months in arrears and is not always completely accurate.

Therefore, when considering the purchase of a property in Florida, a buyer should not trust the assessed value that is published on the county tax appraiser’s website. Instead, it would be safer to consult a Realtor who is familiar with the area to obtain a more reliable and current valuation.

Florida also caps the annual increase in primary residence taxes to the lesser of 3% or the inflation rate. This exemption can also be moved from one  homestead to the next when a homeowner sells one primary residence and buys another. These are more reasons why a buyer should not trust the assessed values published on the county tax appraiser’s website.

A Realtor is also able to provide a comparative market analysis which takes into account the prices that recently sold properties sold for as well as those that re currently on the market.

This is a free service to buyers as the sellers pay commissions to Realtors for introducing buyers to them.

A quick rule of thumb property valuation that many use is to add 25% to the value shown on the property appraiser’s website. Here are links to some of them:  Hillsborough County      Polk County      Pinellas County    Sarasota County    Manatee County     Orange County    Seminole County   Osceola County      Polk County

When someone buys or sells a home , a pro-rata portion of the property taxes have to be paid by buyer and seller. As the seller is responsible for the tax bill for the whole year of sale, the buyer must reimburse the seller for the buyer’s pro-rata portion. This requires a simple pro rata calculation.

Hopefully this information is helpful to out of state buyers who are not familiar with the way real estate property taxes are calculated in Florida.

Disclaimer: Please note that all of the above is public information, that I am not providing tax advice, and that you should consult a licensed and certified tax professional before making any decisions about Florida property taxes.

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 December 4, 2014

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