A Constitutional Officer
The county property appraiser is an elected constitutional officer, which
means it is an office created by the Florida constitution as an independent
arm of local government. This ensures that the creation of a tax base through
the appraisal and assessment process remains separate from and independent of
the taxing authorities' power to levy property taxes. This is an important
constitutional protection from unfair taxation.
The property appraiser determines the value of all property in the county
as of January 1st of each year and certifies the total taxable value of that
property to the taxing authorities; county commissions, school boards, city
commissions and water management districts. The taxing authorities then set
a rate at which all the property will be taxed for the year. This determines
the amount of tax each property owner will pay. For a list of the current
millage rates for each taxing authority, click on our Tax Rates page.
The property tax is called an "ad valorem" tax, which means "according to
value". Over a number of years, certain exemptions from taxation have been
granted in Florida law. These include governmental, charitable, educational
and religious exemptions. Also, there is an exemption for property owned
and used as a permanent legal residence, as well as personal exemptions for
widows, widowers and certain disabilities. For more detailed information
about property tax exemptions, click on our Property Tax Exemptions page.
Tangible Personal Property
Tangible personal property is property, other than real estate, that has
value in and of itself. By Florida law all tangible personal property is
taxable, based on its value, at the same tax rate applied to real estate.
Household goods and personal effects are exempt. For a detailed explanation
of Tangible Personal Property, click on our Tangible Personal Property page.