Understanding Property Taxes: What Homeowners Should Know

As a homeowner, one of the essential aspects of managing your property is understanding property taxes. Property taxes are imposed by local governments and play a significant role in funding public services such as schools, roads and emergency services. But, how do they work? 

After a property sells, the new value is reassessed by the governing tax office to develop a “Just Value”. The just value is the property’s market value. The assessed value is the just value minus assessment limitations (Save Our Homes Program). The taxable value is the assessed value minus exemptions and is the value the tax collector uses to calculate the taxes due. Once the value is determined, the local government applies a tax rate to calculate your tax bill. 

Property taxes are expensive. Luckily, there are things you can do to save money on your tax bill.

Understand your assessment

Review your property tax assessment carefully and make sure that all of the information is accurate. Mistakes happen, and they could result in higher taxes – so it’s essential to address those discrepancies as soon as possible! 

Apply for exemptions

Many cities offer property tax exemptions for certain types of homeowners like senior citizens, veterans or individuals with disabilities. If you live in Florida, you can also apply for a homestead exemption, which lowers the property taxes on a home.

Take advantage of tax credits

Some areas offer tax credits for home improvements that enhance energy efficiency or promote sustainable living. Investing in upgrades like solar panels, energy-efficient windows or insulation can not only save you money on utilities but also reduce your property taxes. 

Consider appeals

If you think your property tax is too high, you have the right to submit an appeal. Gather evidence like recent sales in your area or assessments of similar properties to support your case. 

Pay on time

Always pay your property taxes on time to avoid late fees and penalties! Set reminders or enroll in an automatic payment plan.

Do you live in Sarasota and want to learn how to make the most of your property and save money on your tax bill? Contact me at amychapman@michaelsaunders.com. I’m happy to walk you through the process.