It’s that time of year again. . . Property tax time, that is! Each November, the tax collector’s office mails out the property tax bills to the address on file for properties located within that respective tax collector’s county. Below is an excerpt from the Orange County Tax Collector’s Website with general information regarding property taxes. Most counties in Florida will have similar procedures as Orange County, however, if your property is not located within Orange County, please consult the appropriate Counties website for more information (links at the end of this blog) or contact our office and we can assist you. Tax statements are mailed out by the County Tax Collector by November 1st of each year with the following discounts in effect for early payment:
- 4% discount if paid in November
- 3% discount if paid in December
- 2% discount if paid in January
- 1% discount if paid in February
- The gross amount is due in March
The County Property Appraiser is responsible for approving all exemptions. For more information on Homestead exemptions, or any other exemption, contact the appropriate County Property Appraiser’s office.
Change of Address
If you did not receive a property tax bill, or if your address differs from the one shown on your tax bill and you have a permanent change of address, please complete the Property Mailing Address Change Request on the appropriate County Property Appraiser’s website and return directly to them as the Property Appraiser is responsible for processing address changes.
Penalty Interests/Fees for Late Payments
Taxes and assessments are due November 1st and become delinquent April 1st, at which time the law imposes additional late charges, including penalties and advertising costs.
How Accountability is Maintained
Property taxes are based on the value placed on real property. These taxes are collected on an annual basis beginning November 1st for the tax year January through December. To ensure an accountable system of checks and balances, there are three steps to the property tax process, carried out by separate entities:
- The Board of County Commissioners, School Board, City Commissioners and other levying bodies set the millage rates. Non-ad valorem assessments, such as streetlight, sewage, and road improvements, are levied on a unit basis, rather than on the value of the property.
- The Property Appraiser establishes the value of the property and approves exemptions, including Homestead. Based on the values and exemptions assessed, the Property Appraiser certifies the Tax Roll to the Tax Collector.
- The Tax Collector is then responsible for mailing the tax bills, collecting the taxes and then distributing the funds to 63 different taxing authorities. The Tax Collector also performs tax certificate sales for unpaid taxes and collects tangible personal property taxes in addition to returning any unused fees to the taxing authorities.
It is the responsibility of each taxpayer to see that the taxes are paid. In cases where the property owner pays through an escrow account, the mortgage company, meeting criteria established by the Tax Collector, may request to be sent the tax bill. In this case, the owner will receive a copy of the bill that says, “YOUR BILL HAS BEEN REQUESTED BY ____”.
There you have it! A bit more information on how property taxes are assessed, collected and processed. It is important that each November you keep an eye out for the property tax bill and if for some reason you do not receive it, please contact our office and we can assist you with obtaining a copy and even handling the payment for you should you like. Most of the tax collector’s offices now allow you to pay the tax bill online for those owners not local to Central Florida as well as via phone or check. Moreover, it is important that your most current mailing address is on file with the appropriate county property appraiser’s office to ensure you receive the tax bill and any other notices as the tax collector’s office pulls mailing address information directly from the property appraiser. Again, if you have any questions or concerns regarding property taxes, please contact our office and we are happy to assist you.
We appreciate your business and wish you all a Happy Holiday Season and a Happy New Year!
Justin Recca & the Innovative Realty Team
*All information cited from the Orange County Tax Collector's Website.