What You Should Know
About Florida’s Property Tax System…
The Florida Constitution reserves all revenue from “ad valorem taxes” (taxes based on property value) for local governments, which is their largest source of funding. State government derives no revenue from property taxes. Property tax is levied as of January 1 annually based on the market value of real and tangible personal property. Property owners receive their tax bills in November and payment is due by March 31 of the following year.
Local property appraisers annually assess each privately owned property in Florida based on market value. Property appraisers also administer exemptions. Local governments (taxing authorities) set the “millage rate,” which is the rate at which properties are taxed. After accounting for certain exemptions, differentials, and limitations, the “taxable value” is multiplied by the millage rate to determine the dollar amount of the tax.
See The Local Government Property Tax Process to see how your government works for you.
The Formula for Determining Your Property Tax…
Just Value (market value) – Assessment Limitations (e.g. Save Our Homes) = “Assessed Value”
Assessed Value – Applicable Exemptions (e.g. Homestead) = “Taxable Value”
Taxable Value X Millage Rate = Total Tax Liability
Example: Assume Homestead A has a market value of $400,000, an accumulated $100,000 in Save Our Homes protections, a Homestead Exemption of $50,000, and the millage is 5 mills:
$400,000 – $100,000 = $300,000
$300,000 – $50,000 = $250,000
$250,000 X .005 = $1,250 (Total Property Taxes)
See a list of property tax exemptions.
Every person who owns and resides on real property in Florida on January 1 and makes the property their permanent residence is eligible to receive a homestead exemption up to $50,000. The first $25,000 applies to all property taxes, including school district taxes. The additional exemption up to $25,000, applies to the assessed value between $50,000 and $75,000 and only to nonschool taxes.
If one spouse holds the title, the other spouse may file for the exemption with the consent of the titleholder.
If filing for the first time, be prepared to answer these questions:
In whose name or names was the title to the dwelling recorded as of January 1?
What is the street address of the property?
How long have you been a legal resident of the State of Florida? (A Declaration of Domicile or Voter's Registration will be proof of date before January 1.)
Do you have a Florida license plate on your car and a Florida driver's license?
Were you living in the dwelling on January 1?
See a list of property tax forms that are available online.
Annual Reassessment Requirement
The property appraiser assesses all property at just value each year. When you establish your homestead exemption, your assessed value is equal to your just/market value. Should the just value of your homestead increase, your assessed value increase is limited to 3 percent or the Consumer Price Index (CPI), whichever is less. This assessment limitation was created in Amendment 10 to the Florida Constitution and is informally known as the "Save Our Homes cap."
In the circumstance where your market value declines, the provisions of the Amendment 10 assessment limitation do not continue to reduce your assessed value. Instead, your assessed value will be increased each year by 3 percent or the Consumer Price Index (CPI), whichever is less, until the assessed value is the same amount as the market/just value. The assessed value can never exceed just value (see s.193.155, F.S. and Rule 12D-8.0062 F.A.C.).
Petition to Initiate Rulemaking
This is the document containing the 1995 petition made by the Broward County Property Appraiser to promulgate an administrative rule on the Amendment 10 assessment limitation.
Final Order Upholding the Validity of the Amendment 10 (Save Our Homes) Rule
This is the document containing the ruling by a Division of Administrative Hearings Administrative Law Judge upholding the administrative rule.
Summary of Final Order Upholding the Validity of the Amendment 10 (Save Our Homes) Rule
This summary explains the Department of Revenue’s rule regarding increases in assessed value under the Save Our Homes constitutional amendment and the results of the 1995 challenge to that rule.
Local Entities with Tax Assessing Authority
The state constitution authorizes several types of local governments to levy property taxes up to a certain amount. County, municipal (city), and school district governments may levy taxes up to 10 mills each. A county that provides municipal services may levy an additional tax as set forth in statute. Special districts 1 (e.g., water management) may be authorized by the constitution or by statute to operate with a variety of millage caps, usually under two mills.
Taxing authorities are required to conduct public hearings on their budgets prior to adopting a budget and setting a millage rate. This is commonly referred to as the truth in millage process (TRIM), and is the best opportunity for property owners to comment on taxing authority budgets. The growth in revenue from property taxes assessed by taxing authorities is capped at a rate equal to the growth in Florida per capita personal income plus new construction unless the governing board of the taxing authority overrides the cap with a super-majority or a unanimous vote.
See the 2006 Millage Rates by County, and the 2006 Taxes Levied by County.
As a property owner you have the right to appeal the property appraiser’s assessed value of your property or the property appraiser’s denial of your application for an exemption (such as homestead, veterans, senior citizen, etc.) or property classification (such as agricultural or historic). If you would like to make an appeal, you may do any or all of the following:
Ask for an informal conference with the property appraiser.
File a petition with your local value adjustment board within 25 days after the Notice of Proposed Taxes (or TRIM Notice) was mailed.
File a lawsuit in circuit court.
Informal Conference with Property Appraiser
You have the right to an informal conference with your property appraiser to discuss your assessed value or application for a property exemption or classification. By having an informal conference, you may be able to settle the issue without going to a hearing or going to court. At this informal conference you may:
Bring any documentation you have that may support a change in your assessment or eligibility for an exemption or property classification.
Ask the property appraiser to present facts that support his or her assessment of your property or the denial of an application for an exemption or classification.
Note: Having an informal conference with the property appraiser does not extend your deadline to file a petition with the value adjustment board.
Petition the Value Adjustment Board
You may file a Form DR-486 Petition to the Value Adjustment Board within 25 days from when the Notice of Proposed Taxes (TRIM Notice) was mailed. If you file a petition with the value adjustment board:
You may be represented by an agent, an attorney or anyone else you designate.
You will receive a notice of the date and time of your hearing.
You may reschedule your hearing one time. You must ask in writing to reschedule at least five calendar days before your scheduled hearing.
You have the right to participate in an evidence exchange with the property appraiser.
The value adjustment board will notify you in writing of its decision.
Lawsuit in Circuit Court
You may file a lawsuit in circuit court to challenge the property appraiser’s assessment or denial of an exemption or classification. You are not required to participate in an informal conference with the property appraiser or file a petition with the value adjustment board before filing a lawsuit. In addition meeting with the property appraiser or filing a petition with the value adjustment board does not prevent you from filing a lawsuit.
January 1 to April 1
Owners of eligible tangible personal property must complete and file a return with the property appraiser
January 1 to March 1
Property owners eligible for homestead, widow, widower and disability exemptions or agriculture classification must submit a completed application to the property appraiser.
Property appraiser mails the Notice of Proposed Property Tax (Truth in Millage)
Property owners choosing to appeal their values with the value adjustment board must file a petition with the clerk of the court within 25 days of the Notice of Proposed Taxes
Property owners may provide input on taxing authorities’ public hearings to adopt a tentative budget and millage rate
Taxing authorities hold a hearing to adopt a final budget and millage rate
Tax bills are sent by the tax collector
See detailed calendars of events for property appraisers and tax collectors.
See the Florida Property Valuations and Tax Data book for specific information on values, millage rates, exemptions, taxes levied by taxing authority and much more.
The Role of the Department of Revenue in Property Taxes
The Department of Revenue has general supervision of the assessment and valuation of property so that all property will be placed on the tax rolls at just value. The Department also has supervision over tax collection and all other aspects of the administration of taxes. The supervision of the Department consists primarily of aiding and assisting county officers in the assessing and collection functions. The Department provides education, training, technical assistance and consultation to upgrade assessment skills of both state and local assessment personnel.
See The Local Government Property Tax Process for more details
Do You Have Questions?
How Do I...?
Find out how to calculate property taxes, qualify for an exemption, appeal property values, and much more!
Contact Your Local Property Appraiser
Get answers to questions regarding values, exemptions, or appeals.
Contact Your Local Tax Collector
Get answers to your questions about your tax bill or unpaid taxes.
Property Tax Forms
Find property tax-related form