These are examples of questions frequently asked. There are many individual circumstances which can impact upon the appraisal and filing process. The Property Appraiser welcomes your inquiries. This office is here to serve you and all residents of Gadsden County to ensure fair and equitable appraisal of property.
What does the property
Does the property appraiser levy or collect taxes?
How is property appraised?
What is market value?
Can I get a tax exemption?
Besides Homestead, what other exemptions are available under law?
When will I know the amount of my tax bill?
What if I think the appraised value of my property is too high?
What is an "AG" classification?
Three separate government entities each having unique and distinct roles in producing your November tax bill. First, the property appraiser annually appraises all property in your county at the market value as of January 1. Next, each taxing authority within the county sets their own millage rate based on the amount of tax dollars necessary to fund their annual budget. Finally, the tax collector takes the amount of taxes due in order to bill and collect all taxes levied within the county.
To estimate the value of a property, the property appraiser must identify the properties that have sold, their sale prices and the terms and conditions of the each sale. Each transaction must be studied to make sure that it is an arms-length transaction.
An arm's length transaction is a sale involving a willing seller and a willing buyer without any undue pressure or special incentives (such as family relationships). An arm's length transaction also means that the property was on the market for neither an excessive nor short period of time.
Once this is determined, the property appraiser can base the value of a property on sales of comparable properties. That is why property appraisers maintain an accurate data base of real estate information, and this is the sale comparison approach to value.
The Florida Constitution has been amended effective January 1, 1995 to limit any annual increase in the assessed value of residential property with a homestead exemption to 3 percent or the rate of inflation, whichever is lower. This limitation does not include any change, addition or improvement to a homestead (excluding normal maintenance or substantially equivalent replacement). During subsequent years, any improvements will fall under the Constitutional limitation.
Two other methods are used to appraise property - the cost approach and the income approach. The cost approach is based on how much it would cost today to build an almost identical structure on the parcel. If your property is not new, the appraiser must also determine how much the building has lost value over time. The appraiser must also determine the value of the land itself - without buildings or any improvements. The income approach (usually performed on commercial property) requires a study of how much revenue your property would produce if it were rented as an apartment house, a store, an office building and so on. The appraiser must consider operating expenses, taxes, insurance, maintenance costs, and the return or profit most people would expect on the type of property you own.
The type of exemption benefiting the largest number of property owners is the HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION. If you own property which you use as your primary residence as of January 1, you may apply for homestead exemption. This will reduce the taxable value of your home by $25,000, resulting in substantial savings on your property taxes.
In addition to proof of Florida residency, you must provide one of the following:
Section 196.081, F.S. , provides that property owners qualifying for the homestead exemption on January 1, who are veterans honorably discharged with a service connected total and permanent disability, shall be exempt from ad valorem taxation. Confirmation of the disability from the U.S. Veteran's Administration is required for this exemption. A surviving spouse could enjoy the benefit of this exemption if the veteran was a permanent resident of Florida on January 1 of the year he or she died.
The TRIM notice tells you the taxable value of your property. Taxable value is the just value less any exemptions.
The TRIM notice also gives you information on proposed millage rates and taxes as estimated by your community taxing authorities. It also tells you when and where these authorities will hold public meetings to discuss tentative budgets to set your millage tax rates.
Fees not related to your property value may also appear on your TRIM notice for garbage collection, roads, lighting and other government services. These fees are set by your taxing authority and are not affected by any change in the value of your house or property.
To qualify for Agricultural classification, a return must be filed with the property appraiser between January 1 and March 1 of the tax year. Only lands which are used for bona fide agricultural purposes shall be classified agricultural.
"Bona fide agricultural purposes" means good faith commercial agricultural use of the land. The property appraiser, prior to classifying such lands, may require the taxpayer or the taxpayer's representative to furnish such information as may reasonably be required to establish such lands are actually used for a bona fide agricultural purpose.
The property appraiser may deny agricultural classification to the following lands:
Approval or denial of the late application
is determined by the Value Adjustment Board. This panel will hear your
reasons for not filing in a timely manner and make a determination whether
or not your application can be approved for that tax year.
*There is a filing fee associated with the appeal.
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