Property Tax Overview - Florida
Florida property tax is based on the assessed value of the property as of January 1st of each year, minus any exemptions or other adjustments used to determine the property's taxable value. A local millage rate (a dollar amount per $1,000 of taxable value) is applied to calculate the annual tax. Complete details about Florida property taxes are presented below.
How Property Taxes are Calculated
- SmartAsset has a property tax calculator for Florida that provides an estimate based on location and assessed home value.
- In Florida, property tax is based on the yearly assessed value of the property as of January 1st. Any exemptions or other adjustments used to determine the property's taxable value are subtracted from the total owed.
- Property taxes in Florida are implemented with a millage rate being one-tenth of a percent, which equates to $1 in taxes for every $1,000 in home value.
- A local millage rate (a $1 amount per $1,000 of taxable value) is applied to calculate the annual tax with the millage rate multiplied by the value of the property to determine the dollar amount of property tax. The millage rates are set by local governments and vary locally with 10 mills being equal to 1%.
- A property appraisal is the first step in the Florida property tax process which is carried out by the property appraiser who reviews and applies exemptions and assesses limitations and classifications that can reduce the property's taxable value.
- An annual 'Notice of Proposed Property Taxes' is sent in August of each year to each property owner by the property appraiser. Then, in October/November the county tax collector sends a tax bill to each property owner with the amount due by March 31st the following year.
- Any increase in the value is limited to 3% of the assessment carried out in the previous year on the Consumer Price Index (CPI) in Florida, whichever is less. This initiative is known as the 'Save Our Homes' cap.
- Additional taxes can be levied by special districts; for instance, water management is usually under 2 mills with county, city, and school districts being permitted to levy taxes at up to 10 mills each.
- A detailed table showing the median property tax payment and the average effective tax rate for every county in Florida can be found here.
- A complete equation for determining how much property tax is owed would be the following:
- Assessed Value = Just Value - Assessment Limits
- Taxable Value = Assessed Value - Exemptions
- Total Tax Liability = Taxable Value x Millage Rate
1. Common Property Tax Exemptions
A) Homestead Property Tax Exemption
- This exemption, up to $50,000, can be claimed by owners who own property and make it their permanent residence or the permanent residence of their dependents.
- The first $25,000 exemption is applied to all property taxes including school district taxes with the additional $25,000 applying to a property with an assessed value between $50,000 and $75,000 and only to non-school taxes.
B) Save Our Homes Assessment Limitation
- After receiving the homestead exemption in the first year, the property is assessed each year with the assessed value not allowed to increase more than 3% or the percent change in the Consumer Price Index (CPI), whichever is less.
- The 'Save Our Homes' assessment limitation is the accumulated difference between the just (market) value and the assessed value.
C) Widow(er)’s Exemption
- This exemption of $500 is available to non-remarried widows and widowers.
- Surviving spouses of first responders who died in the line of duty are eligible for a total exemption on homestead property.
D) Senior Citizen’s exemptions
- For residents aged 65 and older whose income does not exceed the income limits are eligible to up to $50,000 in senior citizens exemptions.
- For seniors who have lived in their homes for at least 25 years and whose homes are valued at $250,000 have additional homestead exemptions if their income does not exceed the income limit.
2. Disability Exemptions
- Properties owned and used as homesteads by the quadriplegic community are completely exempt from property tax.
- Complete relief from property taxes through the total disability exemption is available to property owned and used as a homestead by a totally and permanently disabled person who must use a wheelchair or is legally blind and meets the income requirement.
- Florida homeowners who are totally and permanently disabled can access the disability exemption of $500.
- Those who are legally blind residents can assess the blindness exemption of $500.
3. Exemptions for Veterans
- The veteran’s disability exemption of $5,000 is available for veterans who have at least a 10% service-connected disability per the Department of Veterans Affairs and is not limited to homestead property with an eligible surviving spouse able to carry over the exemption.
- The combat injury discount, given as a percentage discount equal to the veteran's service-connected disability rating, is available to residents aged 65 and above who were Florida residents when entering service and were honorably discharged having a combat-related disability.
- Total veterans disability exemption providing total and complete tax relief to the property of the veteran's primary residence is available for honorably discharged veterans with a service-connected total and permanent disability.
- Active-duty personnel and veterans of the military, Florida National Guard, Reserves and Coast Guard deployed outside the United States in the previous calendar year may get a percentage exemption on the home's taxable value.
- The real estate tax exemption for disabled veterans that are paraplegic, hemiplegic, and permanently and totally disabled, and those who must use a wheelchair for mobility or are legally blind, are exempt from real estate taxation if gross annual household income does not exceed the adjusted maximum allowed.
1. Standard Payment
- Generally, tax collectors send tax bills (Form DR-528) in November with taxes due by March 31st.
- Those who pay early receive a discount with one getting a 4% discount in November, a 3% discount in December, 2% in January, and a 1% discount in February.
2. Homestead Tax Deferral
- A person entitled to claim the homestead tax exemption can decide to defer payment of part of the total combined taxes including non-ad valorem assessments.
- One must file Form DR-570 which is the annual application for tax deferral with the county tax collector by March 31st of the following year when the taxes were assessed.
- Approval will defer taxes that are more than 5% of last year's household income with households having income less than $10,000 being deferred.
3. Partial Payment
- One or more partial payments for property taxes may be accepted at the tax collector's discretion as long as payment is made before April 1st, which is the delinquency date.
- The remaining amount due is to be paid by the taxpayer and any balance not paid by April 1st becomes delinquent tax.
4. Installment Payment of Property Taxes
- One can prepay property taxes on an installment plan should they apply with the tax collector by May 1st of the year the taxes are assessed.
- The taxpayer will not be required to submit annual applications after submitting the initial application so long as they choose to prepay taxes by Installment.
Differences in Customer Segments
- 'Use assessment' is any assessment for tax purposes that is less than the property's just (market) value.
- In Florida, an appraiser may assess property at a lower than just value if it meets the statutory requirement of the following uses namely historic property, high-water recharge, pollution control devices, agricultural land, conservation easements, and new construction for parents or grandparents.
- For residents aged 65 and older whose income does not exceed the income limits are eligible to up to $50,000 in the senior citizens' exemptions.