Q:            Properties in my neighborhood are not selling.  I think the Market Value of my property is less today than indicated on the TRIM notice. Why aren’t the values lower? 


A:             The Florida Constitution requires the assessed value of your property to be based on conditions that existed as of January 1st of this year.   Although values in your neighborhood may have declined further since January 1st, the Market Value stated on your TRIM notice is our estimate of value as of January 1st.  By law, that value was established utilizing sales that occurred during the prior year. 



Q:            Amendment 1 increased the homestead exemption amount from $25,000 to $50,000, but the taxes on my homestead property are higher this year than last year. Did I get the additional exemption?



A:             If the assessed value of your homestead property is greater than $50,000, then you did receive an additional homestead exemption.



-          Homestead property with an assessed value of $75,000 and above received the full $50,000 exemption

($25,000 original exemption + $25,000 of the additional exemption);

-           Homestead property valued between $50,000 and $74,999 receive only a portion of the additional $25,000 exemption

-        Homestead property valued under $50,000 did not receive an additional Homestead exemption;

-        All homestead properties will continue to receive the original homestead exemption of $25,000;


The additional homestead exemption applies to all taxing authorities except the School Board.



Q:           The Market Value of my property is ok, but the taxes still seem too high.  Is there anything I can do about that?


 A:           The formula for the amount of property tax you pay is:  (Taxable Value χ 1,000) x (Total Millage Tax Rate) = Taxes Due




A taxable value of $100,000 for property in the unincorporated area would pay $ 1,773.80




                                                                                ($100,000 χ 1,000) x (17.738) = $1,773.80

                Following is a list of tax rates from the prior year and this year’s proposed tax rates:


                                TAXING AUTHORITY                             PRIOR YEAR’S TAX RATE                      PROPOSED TAX RATE                                                                         

Liberty County                                                    10.0000                                                 10.0000

School Board (State)                                           5.2840                                                   5.1950

School Board (Local)                                          2.4980                                                   2.4980

Northwest Florida Water Management          0.0450                                                   0.0450  

City of Bristol                                                       3.0000                                                   3.0000



TOTAL of Tax Rates levied in Unincorporated Area             17.8270                                               17.7380  

TOTAL of Tax Rates levied in City of Bristol                          20.8270                                               20.7380


Only the taxing authorities can adjust the millage tax rates.  If you are concerned about the level of property taxation, you should attend your taxing authorities’ public budget hearings where millage tax rates are finalized. The dates, times and places of budget hearings are listed on the enclosed TRIM notice.  If you are unable to attend a meeting you can contact the Taxing Authorities at the numbers listed below.


Liberty County Board of County Commissioners………………………………………850-643-5404    


City of Bristol………………………………………………………………………………………..850-643-2261          


North West Florida Water Management District……………………………………..850-539-5999


Liberty County School Board…………………………………………………………………..850-643-2275






Q:            The market value of my homestead property decreased, but the assessed value increased.   The TRIM notice indicates that I will pay more in property taxes.   Why will I pay more in Property Taxes?


A:             Though this year there was proposed legislation to address this issue, none of the legislation passed.  Currently Florida Law does not allow a decrease in the assessed value when there is a decrease in the market value.  As a result, the assessed value will continue to increase by the consumer price index (CPI) until the assessed value equals the market value. Assessed values increased by .1% over the prior year’s assessed value.  However, if there were any improvements made to your property, those improvements are added to the tax roll at Fair Market Value, resulting in increases that will exceed the CPI.




Q:            I bought a home last year and my property taxes were only $500, but this year the taxes are $1500.  Why was there such a drastic increase in taxes?


A:             The taxes on the home you purchased were based on the conditions of the property as of January 2008.  If the previous owner had a homestead exemption and had resided on the property for a number of years, then there was a significant tax savings accumulated over the years.  As a new owner of the property, you are not entitled to the same tax saving benefits as the previous owner.  The value of your property is based on the market conditions as of January 1st.




Q:            I moved into a new home last year and I filed for Homestead and “Portability” this year.  There isn’t anything on the TRIM

Notice that tells me whether or not I received the tax saving “Portability”.  How do I know if I received the benefits of  “Portability”?


A:            If you did not receive a certified letter advising you that you were denied the benefits of “Portability”, then more than likely

it was granted to you.  If you would like to ensure that you received those benefits, please contact us at 850-643-2279 for verification.




Q:            Amendment 1 provided that the assessed value of non-homestead property could not increase more than 10% over the previous year? Does that mean that I will see a tax savings this year?


A:             A tax savings resulting from Amendment 1 will only be recognized in a year when property values increase more than 10%. If the overall tax rate (levied by taxing authorities) has increased, then you could pay more taxes this year than you did in the previous year.




Q:            I purchased an agricultural property last year and the taxes I paid were minimal.  Why are this year’s taxes so much higher?         


A:             Each new owner of an ag parcel must file an agricultural application prior to March 1st.  The application must demonstrate that a bona fide ag business exists on the property. If the property taxes have increased considerably above the taxes paid in the previous year, you may have missed the opportunity to file for “Greenbelt” as the new owner or your request for “Greenbelt” was not granted.