How does Florida property tax work?

  • What is a Property Tax?
    • It is a tax paid on property owned by an individual or company, based on the assessed value, which considers the appraisal value and the exemptions.
      • Pedro J. Garcia, an elected official, is the property appraiser for Miami Dade county and is responsible for the annual appraisal of every lot in the county. He uses mass appraisal or a systematic analysis of market data to assign values to multiple properties at once.
      • The most significant exemption is the Homestead that can save homeowners up to $50,000 on their taxable value.
        • Homeowners who receive the homestead exemption also benefit from the Save Our Homes assessment limitation, which caps increases in assessed value at 3% or the rate of inflation, whichever is lower. So even if you own a home in a hot housing market, your taxes won’t skyrocket (unless one of your local government bodies increases rates).

  • How to check if your property tax is fair?
    • Homeowners should review their annual Truth in Millage (TRIM), which declares their home’s appraised and assessed value if the appraised value is higher than your home sell price, file for an appeal to the county adjustment board within 25 days of receiving your TRIM.
      • In Miami Dade County, TRIM notices are sent to all property owners by August 24, including property values, exemption benefits, proposed taxes, and budget hearings.
      • The TRIM notice contains critical information in the following categories:
        • Ad Valorem Taxes – Proposed taxes based on the value of your property
        • Non-Ad Valorem Taxes – Proposed fees for services such as garbage, fire, and lighting
        • Property Values – Value of the property as of January 1
        • Exemptions and other benefits – All exemptions, classifications, and assessment reductions applied to the property.
  • Property Tax Rates
    • Property taxes in Florida are implemented in millage rates. A millage rate is one tenth of a percent, which equates to $1 for every $1,000 in home value. Assuming a house that is worth $300,000, the mill rate of 60 mills, a tax-assessed value of 20%, the property tax will be: $300,000 * 20%  = $60,000 * 0.06 = $3,600.
    • Property tax rates and the types of properties taxed vary by jurisdiction.

Trivia question: Are property and real estate tax the same? And why? Send your answer to [email protected]

Works cited: Julia Kagan, “Property Tax” (2020); SmartAsset(https://smartasset.com/taxes/florida-property-tax-calculator)

This information is for educational purposes.