The State of Florida has been known for having lower taxes, overall, than most of the other states in America. But, the Florida Property Tax is amongst the highest in the nation. So, that leaves many Floridians asking if there is any way to lower their property tax bills.
There are some ways to get some relief from the high property taxes. One way is to look through all of the many exemptions there are for property owners in Florida. Make sure that you are claiming every exemption you are entitled to. Another way is to look at the possibility of an appeal on the assessor’s property valuation amount, to see if you can get the value of the property lowered. There are many reasons that a property’s value should be lowered. Let’s look at some of them now.
Something’s Off Here
You can and should ask for a copy of your property tax card. The assessor’s office keeps cards for every property they assess that are full of all the information they use about your property to make the assessment of the value. Your Florida Property Tax is based on that value, so you should certainly make sure that the details they are using to produce your property valuation amount are correct. Sometimes those details are not correct. If you find a discrepancy in the records, that’s something that should definitely be brought to the attention of your local assessor’s office.
If You Build It, Your Florida Property Tax Could Go Up
If you’re looking for ways to decrease your property tax bill or, in the very least, keep it from going up any more, then don’t build on to your property. Making structural additions like building a deck, a shed or workshop, a screened-in patio, or anything else like this could end up increasing your Florida Property Tax bill. All of these kinds of structural changes add value to your property, therefore, increasing your property tax bill.
Don’t Make It Too Pretty
Now, that sounds like weird advice, right? But, here’s what we mean. There are a lot of criteria that assessors have to go by when they’re doing an evaluation of a property’s value. Those assessors are still only human though. There’s no getting around that. When a person sees a property that looks very appealing, the property tends to get valued a little higher than if it hadn’t looked so nice. That’s just naturally how most people will look at many things. You need to remember that assessors are human beings, so there is some subjectivity involved. Try not to let your Florida Property Tax be higher just because your property is so beautiful.
See What Other Properties Around You Have Been Valued At
You can actually request to see the information about your neighbors’ property assessments also. You should do that because part of your valuation is based on that collective data. If you find that the valuations of your neighbors’ properties are such that they are paying much less in Florida Property Tax, then you would want to bring this information up to the assessor’s office. There may have been a mistake made somewhere, there could be missing information in your file, or something else. Whatever it is, you need to get it straightened out so that you won’t have to pay more than you should for your property tax now, and in the future.
Stroll Along with Your Property Assessor
It’s normal for people just to let the assessor show up and go about the business alone. But, that’s not really what you should do. If you want to help yourself to get a more fair valuation of your property, then go with the assessor. Your Florida Property Tax depends on what that assessor notes. Many of them will see the upgrades and updates you’ve done, but fail to notice the cracks around, or paint that’s peeling. Those are things that you are familiar with seeing, so you can easily point those out. They need to see all of the good stuff, but it’s not going to be fair if they don’t also notice what needs changing, fixing, and updating. You can help your assessor get the most accurate picture of your property, so you get the right value set for your property.
Here’s Something You Should Not Do
There are people who try to keep the assessor from going inside the property. This is a bad idea. You don’t have to let them in, but if you don’t, assessors can, and often will, assume that you have updates and improvements inside that you don’t want them to see.
You should definitely let the assessors inside your property. Again though, stay with them as they walk around and point out the good, as well as, the needs improvement things to see. Doing this shows your assessor that you’re looking for a fair assessment, not just the lowest you can get. You want to send the right message, and not allowing the assessor inside, makes it look like you’re just trying to get out of paying some Florida Property Tax.
So, What Should You Do If You Do Come Across Something Incorrect?
Get help. Or at least see what kind of advice an expert has for you. You can contact the professionals at Fair Assessments, LLC to talk to someone who knows the business of appeals on property assessments in Florida very well. This company has decades of experience with appeals for residential properties in the Atlanta metro area and commercial properties in Florida and Georgia. Give them a call and get started with your appeal, or even just make an appointment for a consultation to review your property details. These folks will go over everything with you and help you decide what the next step should be for your specific situation. So, give them a call, you’ll be happy you did.