THE BASICS OF FLORIDA REAL ESTATE TAXES
Taxes in Florida are paid in arrears – that is, the tax bill is mailed to property owners in November for the calendar year that is nearly past. The following discounts apply for early payment:
- 4% if paid in November
- 3% if paid in December
- 2% if paid in January
- 1% if paid in February
The March amount due is the gross tax amount and reflects no discount. Taxes become delinquent on April 1, at which time interest and other applicable costs are added to the gross amount of tax. Beginning April 1 , 2011, certified funds are required for payment of the current year’s delinquent real estate tax bill.
Florida law requires that all real estate taxes be paid by March 31 each year. If those taxes are not paid, the law requires Tax Collectors to conduct an auction and sell Tax Certificates on or before June 1st. A tax certificate sale is not a sale of land, but rather is a lien against the subject property. The tax certificate sale is a method by which the various taxing authorities may still receive tax revenue when property owners do not pay their taxes. The taxing authorities receive money that funds their budgets and certificate buyers earn interest on their investments.
DETERMINING THE AMOUNT OF REAL ESTATE TAXES
In Florida, real estate taxes are ad valorem (“according to worth”) taxes, that is, they are based on the value of the real estate you own. Value is determined by the local County Property Appraiser.
The Property Appraiser’s Office establishes the value of the property; the Board of County Commissioners, School Board, City Commissioners and other levying bodies set the millage rates. One mill equals $1.00 per $1000.00 of property value. Using these values and allowing for exemptions, the tax roll is completed by the Property Appraiser. It is then certified to the Tax Collector who merges the non ad valorem assessments into the certified tax roll. Then, the Tax Collector mails the tax notice to the owner’s last address of record as it appears on the tax roll.
REAL ESTATE TAX EXEMPTIONS
Florida law provides for several different kinds of real estate tax exemptions, i.e., discounts. These consist of:
Widows / Widowers Exemption
Disabled Veterans Exemption