AD VALOREM taxes are based on the assessed value of real property and are collected on an annual basis beginning on November lst for the tax year January lst through December 31st. The office of the Property Appraiser establishes the assessed value of the property and the Board of County Commissioners, School Board, City Commissioners and other levying bodies set the millage rates. The Highlands County Property Appraiser establishes the assessed value as of January 1st of each year for the tax bills that come out in the fall.
There are Homestead Exemptions, Save our Homes Differential adjustments and number of other ad valorem tax discounts available to certain qualifying homeowners. Generally, however, you can estimate what your real estate tax bills will be if you are buying a new home. Here is the criteria and data you'll need:
1. Purchase Price
2. Find the millage rate for the property based upon it's location (City or County or Special Tax District).
3. Will you be applying for Homestead Exemption?
4. Can I transfer any "Save Our Homes" Homestead Differential from another home?
5. Do I qualify for any other discounts or special exemptions?
Once you know these answers, you can generally estimate your property tax as follows:
Step 1: If you are transferring a Save Our Homes Homestead Differential from another home, you'll need to calculate this differential first.
Step 2: Subtract any Save Our Homes Differential from your purchase price (taxable value).
Step 3: Find the millage rate for your property.
Step 4: Multiply the taxable value (Step 2) by the applicable millage rate (Step 3).
Step 5: If your property will be your Homestead, calculate your Homestead Exemption discount:
- If your taxable value is less than $25,000, you get no Homestead Exemption discount.
- if your taxable value is over $25,000, but less than $75,000 multiply your taxable value by your applicable millage rate. This is your Homestead Exemption discount.
- If your taxable value is over $75,000 then your Homestead Exemption discount is calculated in two steps:
a) multiply $25,000 times the millage rate for your property
b) multiply $25,000 times the tier 2 millage rate for your property.
Add these two items together for your Homestead Exemption discount.
Step 6: Take any other discounts and/or exemptions you are entitled to.
Now, this may seem as difficult as filling out a FORM 1040! Sometimes, it is. But, here's a quick formula that we use for property that is in the County (not inside a City limit in Highlands County) that will be Homestead property that has NO Save our Homes Differential and has a taxable value of over $75,000:
FORMULA = (Purchase Price x 95% x .0153563) - $571 = estimated tax
Please note that this does not include the garbage collection assessment fee, which is $130 per year.
Here is an example:
You are considering purchasing a home for $175,000 at the Country Club of Sebring. It will be your Homestead and you qualify for no other exemptions and/or discounts. Here would be your estimated real estate taxes (after Homestead exemption):
($175,000 x .95 x .0153563) - $571 = $1,981 per year.
Of course, every situation is unique and this is only an estimate. Please consult one of our professional Realtors or your tax advisor for better estimates based upon the unique circumstances of your proposed purchase.
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