Home Buying in 33904>Question Details

Carl, Home Buyer in San Francisco, CA

How are tax assessments determined?

Asked by Carl, San Francisco, CA Sat Jul 26, 2008

In California it's fairly simple to determine the base assessment (1% of sales price). Is there an easy formula for Florida or is it just the assessor and a weegie board? My question is due to the wide differences we see for homes listed at the same value.

Help the community by answering this question:


A new law that is in effect now also limits the non homesteaded property to a max increase of 10%. This just went into effect this year.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 27, 2008
I think your question is really "Why are taxes so different on houses that are listed for sale at the same price?"
The seller with the lower taxes has most likely been "homesteaded" for quite a few years. The assessed value of his home can only increase by a maximum of 3% per year no matter what the market is doing.
The seller with the higher taxes propably is not homesteaded (he does not live in the home more than 6 months a year). His assessed value can increase 10%, 15%, 20%, etc. per year based on homes near his selling for higher prices. During the boom years unhomesteaded properties saw giant increases in their assessed value. Now that prices are spiraling downward, non-homesteaders will see their assessments DECREASE in large increments. Homesteaders, however, will still see a 3% INCREASE.
Carolyn Giandonato
Sellstate Advantage Realty Network, Inc.
(239) 243-4082
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 27, 2008
Taxes are really not based on Sales price. They are based on assessed values. If yu bought a home for 100K and its actual assessed value was 150K, you would pay taxes on the 150K - minus any exemptions.

Assessed value is based on comparative sales of like properties in the same area.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 26, 2008
Hi Carl,
In Florida taxes are paid on a millage rate. The tax value or assessed value of a home is based on sales price. If they can not base it on sales price the appraised value would come from our tax appraiser who will visit your home and appraise for tax value. We have homestead which was posted before at a 50k reduction. We also have other reductions and the 3% max increase for homestead per year on value. I hope this was helpful and if I could help you in the future feel free to give me a call.
Good Luck,

Nancy Doyle
Fax: 866.526.4756
Sellstate Professional
2311 Santa Barbara Blvd
Cape Coral FL 33991
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 26, 2008
Hi Carl,

In Florida, the tax assessments are calculated by "millage rates". What is a milliage rate? It is:
The amount per $1,000 that is used to calculate taxes on property. Millage rates are most often found in personal property taxes, where the expressed millage rate is multiplied by the total taxable value of the property to arrive at the property taxes due. Millage rates are also used by school boards to calculate local school taxes to be collected, based on a derivation of the total property value within school district boundaries.

Investopedia Says:
The term is derived from the root word mill, which means "thousand". Millage rates are often expressed mathematically with the symbol %o, as in 1%o, which is one part per thousand, or 0.1%. Millage rates for individual properties are usually found on the property deed itself.

Each area in our county has it's own milliage rate. To find out what a particular milliage is on a property is, go to the county's property assessor's web site and key in the address of the property you are interested in. For our area in Lee county, go to http://www.LeePA.org. If you are having trouble accessing the site or the information, please feel free to contact me and it would be my pleasure to help you.
Cathryn Blair-Bennett
First Capital Lending
239-277-9244 Ext. 212
After hours 239-645-3795
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 26, 2008
Good information below. I don't specifically know Florida, but there are a lot of reasons why assessments can get "out of whack."

Kathy excerpted some useful information. Read especially the "sales comparison approach." The difficulty there occurs when markets are rapidly changing. Often, the assessment will lag the actual valuation when markets are rapidly rising or falling. Meanwhile, some properties will sell, and that will "reset" the assessment for that property. So, recently sold properties will have accurate assessments--based on the recent sale. Properties that haven't sold in a few years will have an old assessment, broadly adjusted for increases or decreases in real estate values. That can account for many of the wide variations in assessments.

An assessment also may or may not account for certain improvements made by the homeowner. Let's say you have a 4 bed/3 bath house relatively close to a 3 bed/2 bath house. All other things being equal, the 4/3 should be worth more than the 3/2. And the assessment may reflect that. But let's say the 4/3 was built in the 1960s and hasn't been updated since then. The 3/2 is nearly as old, but had a major renovation last year. And the 4/3 is on a busy street, while the 3/2, only a couple of blocks away, is on a quiet cul-de-sac. Although the assessment for the 4/3 probably will be higher, buyers might be willing to pay as much or more for the 3/2. And so you might find the two houses priced the same.

There are many other reasons, too. But you get the idea. And that's one reason why Realtors tell clients that a tax assessment is not a good reflection of a home's value.

Hope that helps.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 26, 2008
Don Tepper, Real Estate Pro in Fairfax, VA
Hi Carl! Here's the website for Manatee County http://www.manateepao.com. Manatee County is on the Southwest Coast of Florida, 30 minutes from Tampa/St Pete, 15 minutes from Sarasota. The variances you will find include: when a property last sold; any permitted improvements; whether it's been homesteaded; the millage rate for the neighborhood within the County; whether it's in an Incorporated part of the County; on a Barrier Island; Waterfront, etc. As you can see, it varies. Also: Some communities may have CDD (Community Development District) Fees. If so, then those Fees will be a Special Assessment within your tax bill PLUS Property Taxes.

Carl, we have a great mixture of Barrier Island, Waterfront, more Traditional Neighborhoods, and New Communities to suit your most every desire. Beautiful Beaches, Great Fishing and Boating, or Country Style. Easy Commuting. The various Arts, Dining, and More!

I'd be pleased to assist you in finding that just right property here! Just call or e-mail me! And Good Luck with your endeavor!

Laura E. McGeary, PA
p: 941-704-3708 Direct!
Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate
Bradenton FL
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 26, 2008
Here is the link to the Lee County Tax Assessors site. You vcan look up a bunch of info on this site.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 26, 2008
The following information was supplied by the Seminole county Property Appraiser's website at http://www.scpafl.org. I hope this helps answer your question.

At least once every three years, one of our appraisers will visit and inspect each property as required by Florida law. However, individual property values may be adjusted between visits in light of new construction, additions, sales activity or other factors affecting real estate values in your neighborhood. Sales of similar properties are a strong indicator of values in the real estate market in your vicinity.

To find the value of your property, the Property Appraiser must first know what properties have sold, and how much they are selling for in today's market. That is why we maintain an accurate database of real estate information. Each transaction must be studied to make sure it was an arms-length transaction, meaning that a willing seller sold to a willing buyer without any undue pressure or special incentives and that the property was on the market for neither an excessive nor short period of time. Once this is determined, we can base the value of the property from other sales of comparable properties. This is the sales comparison approach to valuation.

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 value the building has lost over time. The appraiser must also determine the value of the land itself - without buildings or any improvements.

The income approach is the third way to evaluate property - usually commercial property. It requires a study of how much revenue your property would produce if it were rented such 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 your kind of property.

Kathy Phillips
Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 26, 2008
You see a wide differance for many reasons. Some properties are homesteaded, this gives the owners a $50,000 break on assessed value and also caps taxes being raised by no more than 3%. So if you bought in 1999 and paid $100K and homesteaded, even during the boom, taxes could not go more than 3% up. Also other exemptions available, such as widower, etc.
Please call me and I will be happy to discuss in length and answer all your questions.

Jay LaGace - 239-443-8795
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 26, 2008
In Texas the county appraiser will appraise the property and the value is figured by dividing the appraised price by 100 and then multiplying that amount by the value approved by the county commissioners cout for that area.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 26, 2008
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