If you are using a Realtor (if you're not, then call me), they'll tell you that the property gets reassesed every year and that the assesment can be challenged at any time. We're seeing a lot of this with the declining market and it's important to keep two things in mind: The assesed (or "fair market" ) value should be between 80-90% of the retail value of the property. "Retail" value is what it sells for today on the open market. The homestead exemption of $50,000 reduces your taxable amount even further so that your $190k assesed value should be reduced to about $135, then take $50k off that and you should pay taxes on approx. $85k, or $1530/yr (127/mo) at the .018 millage in Duval County. Hope that makes things a little easier. You might even get the assessor lower than that.
However (and this is important), if you are buying a short sale or foreclosed property then you will be stuck with the fair market value assesment because the property is selling at an artificially depressed price that isn't neccesarily reflective of comparable properties. Call me for more detailed information.
Eric Cavanagh Sr. Keller Williams Realty Jacksonville 904-589-6941
Typically when a house is purchased, the assessed value is 'reassessed' by the property appraisers office. This is why if you buy a house that is assessed at 150K (because that is what the sellers have currently) but you pay them $200K, your taxes will go up.
Now we are on the other side of that fence, so I'd suggest you call the property appraisers office and ask them what their procedure would be in this situation.
You should also Google property appraiser for the county and see what their web site says. Orange County, FL where I live has an awesome site which will tell you how to challenge the value, it has a calculator for what your taxes will be if you purchase a house at a certain price, etc.
Last but not least, make sure you have an agent to help you with this situation. Challenging a valuation could take quite some time, so you might want to ask for a credit from the seller to cover the higher taxes until they are reassessed, since he is likely to have this problem with anyone else, he might entertain that idea.
Assessed value of a property should reflect actual market value. If you buy this property for $150,000, your city probably has a process for "protecting" the current assessed value. I suspect you could take your closing statement to the assessor and they will adjust assessed value accordingly at the next adjustment date. Talk to the assessor about their procedures.