Every year, the dreaded property tax bill arrives in early November here in South Florida. There are a few things about your tax bill that you should know, especially if you have just purchased your first property and this is your first time paying property taxes, or you have recently moved to Florida.
First of all: don’t forget to pay it! It sounds so obvious, but with the busy lives we lead, it is easy to cast the bill aside and forget all about it during the busy holiday period. Well, don’t! Taxes become delinquent if not paid in full by April 1st of the following year.
The good news is: if you pay your taxes early, you will be able to get a discount! So it can literally save you hundreds of dollars to be organized with your tax payment. Here in South Florida, specifically Broward County, if you pay your taxes early, you are entitled to a discount of 4% during the month of November, 3% during December, 2% in January and 1% in February.
How to pay your property tax? You find this information on the back of your tax bill, but essentially you can pay your bill via electronic check, credit or debit card, check, installment method (needs an application with tax collector’s office), partial payment, or in person at a Wells Fargo branch by check (full payment only).
Do you understand your tax bill? Here are a few phrases from the tax bill and their explanation:
Ad valorem tax: this is the tax based on the value of the property. It is what is commonly referred to as “property tax”.
Special or non-ad valorem tax: This tax is not based on the property’s value, but charged on properties within a certain district to defray the cost of providing a certain service or improvement, such as garbage collection or fire protection.
Millage rate: the millage rate is the amount of property tax charged per $1000 of taxable property value. This tax is used for county services.
Homestead exemption: If your primary residence is in Broward County, you can file for homestead exemption, which will reduce your taxes. This year, the timely filing period for homestead exemption is March 2, 2016 through March 1, 2017.
Portability – although this is not explained on your tax bill, portability is extremely important if you are planning of moving and buying a new house to be your permanent residence. Portability lets you move your homestead savings from one property to another. You need to submit a portability application as well as a homestead application for your new permanent residence.
Do you have any more questions about your tax bill? Are you perhaps looking to sell or buy and changing your permanent residence? Let me help you. I am here for you and ready to answer any questions you might have. I can also explain exactly how portability works and even calculate your potential savings.
Contact me today by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone: 954-610-8230