Property Taxes Explained

Property taxes
As a property owner, it is important to be aware of property taxes and how they impact you.

The average American household spends $2,690 on property taxes for their homes each year, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, and residents of the 26 states with vehicle property taxes shell out another $444. According to the National Tax Lien Association, more than $14 billion in property taxes go unpaid each year. At least the approximately 35% of households that are renters do not need to worry about these taxes, right? Think again, rental prices also factor in the cost of property taxes. Therefore, we all pay for property taxes in some way or another. We explain more about these taxes below.

What are property taxes?

Simply put, property taxes are the government’s main source of revenue. Therefore, these taxes fund essential services such as police departments, fire departments, basic infrastructure such as roads, and also schools. These tax rates will differ from city to city.

Who pays these taxes?

Naturally, anyone that owns property will pay property taxes. With this said, renters also pay property taxes as these costs are typically passed through to the monthly rent. In some cases, it is also possible that a lease agreement will specify that a tenant will pay for property taxes. Of course, most residential lease agreements do not specify any additional fees beyond rent and utilities.

How are they calculated?

Property tax calculations vary from state to state and even from city to city. Your local jurisdiction will start by placing a valuation on your home or property. From there, an assessment rate is assigned by your local government. This assessment rate is typically referred to as a millage rate. This millage rate is then multiplied by the assessed value of your home in order to come up with a dollar amount for your yearly property tax bill.

What should you do when you receive your tax bill?

As with any bill, it is important to review your property tax bill to confirm that all the information is correct prior to paying it. If you happen to see any errors, contact your local tax authority right away so they can update their records. In Florida, you can expect to receive your property tax bill sometime in the September or October time frame. These taxes are due to be paid by November 1st of each year. You do have until March 31st of the following year to pay your property taxes, however additional fees will apply for each additional month. It is important to remember that real estate property taxes do become delinquent as of April 1st of the following year.

How do you appeal your taxes?

In some cases, property owners may feel that their property taxes are too high. Perhaps they disagree with the valuation assigned to their property? If this is the case, you can start by contacting your local tax authority and also contact the Florida Department of Revenue at this link. In addition, you may also consider hiring a property appraiser to provide you with a valuation on your property. Lastly, there are also various property tax appeal services that you may hire for an additional fee.


As a property owner, it is important to have some working knowledge of how property taxes work and budget accordingly. As of the latest tax year, Florida ranks 24th in the country for property tax rates. Considering that The Sunshine State does not have a state income tax, Florida is one of the most tax-friendly states in the country. These economic factors certainly impact Florida’s popularity and it is no surprise that it is the fastest growing state.

Are you thinking about buying property in South Florida? We can help! Contact Natasha at Live South Florida Realty, Inc. today! Also, be sure to download the free Florida Home Search App for your mobile device.

By natasha moore

REALTOR® with Live South Florida Realty, Inc.