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QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

Select a category, or scroll down to read the entire FAQ:

  • Assessment
  • Exemptions
  • Tangible Personal Property
  • General Questions



    ASSESSMENT (Back to Top)

    Q: I've heard the term "property appraiser". What kinds of appraisals are done in your office?
    A: We appraise all property in the county as of January 1st. This includes real estate (land and buildings) and tangible personal property (machinery, equipment and supplies). We only do appraisals for assessment purposes. So, if you need an appraisal done for a loan or some other purpose, you should contact a local fee appraiser.


    Q: How do you determine the value of my property?
    A:
  • The law requires that we assess property based on its market value. We track all property sales in the county and use those sales to establish our values. Your property value is based on market sales of properties similar to yours.
  • We also use the cost approach [Current Construction Cost] as an appraisal method and the income approach [Agricultural Lands].
  • The Property Apraiser's office is required by Florida Statutes to visit each property every three years to maintain correct records of the improvements.

  • Q: How will I know what value you have placed on my property?
    A: In mid-August you will receive a Notice of Proposed Taxes. This notice will show you the assessed value, any exemptions, and the tax amount proposed by each taxing authority. You should review this notice each year and call us if you have questions.


    Q: What if I don't agree with my assessed value?
    A: Call us or come in to discuss your concerns. The information we have on record concerning your property is available for you to review. We welcome the opportunity to explain to you the components of your assessment. After talking with us, if you still feel the value is too high, you may file a petition with the Value Adjustment Board.


    Q: What if I agree with my value, but my taxes are too high?
    A: All we control is your value. The tax rates are set by various taxing authorities.


    Q: If I add something to my property, will it affect my taxes?
    A: Probably, yes. Most improvements to property make the property more valuable. Keep in mind that as your value increases, your taxes will probably increase, too.



    EXEMPTIONS (Back to Top)

    Q: I've purchased a new home. When do I need to file for my Homestead Exemption?
    A: The period for filing applications for all types of exemptions is January 1st through March 1st.


    Q: What information will I need to bring when I file for my Homestead Exemption?
    A: 1 - A recorded deed or contract for deed
    2 - A driver's license showing your current mailing address
    3 - Social security numbers for each applicant
    4 - If you live in a mobile home, the mobile home registration(s)


    Q: Can I get a Homestead exemption if I rent a home or lot?
    A: No. You must own the property on which you apply. If you own a mobile home, but not the land where it sits, the mobile home will not be assessed on the tax roll. You are required to purchase an annual mobile home (MH) decal from the Tax Collector's office.
    If you own both land and mobile home, you should bring your current mobile home registration to our office and apply for a real property (RP) decal. This is a permanent sticker that should be affixed to the window of your mobile home. In this case, your mobile home will be assessed on the tax roll and if it is your legal residence, you may apply for Homestead Exemption.


    Q: Do I have to file every year?
    A: No. We now automatically renew your exemption each year. This means that once you have the exemption, we will mail a card to you in January of each year stating that we have renewed your exemption. If you do not receive a card by January 15th, you should contact us. If you are no longer eligible, or if your mailing address should change, it is your responsibility to notify us.


    Q: What is the "greenbelt" or "ag exemption"?
    A: "Greenbelt" is the term commonly used for the agricultural classification of property. Technically, this classification is not an exemption, but it does yield a lower assessed value. Agricultural classification is for land that is used for good faith, commercial agriculture. Applications must be filed between January 1st and March 1st.



    TANGIBLE PERSONAL PROPERTY (Back to Top)

    Q: What is Tangible Personal Property?
    A: Everything other than real estate that has value in and of itself. It includes items such as machinery and equipment, signs, supplies and leasehold improvements. Some types of tangible personal property are exempt, such as household goods and personal effects.


    Q: Who must file?
    A: Anyone in possession of taxable assets on January 1st must file a Tangible Personal Property return (DR-405). Property owners who lease, lend or rent property or equipment must also file a return.


    Q: Why must I file a return?
    A: Section 193.052, Florida Statutes, requires that all tangible personal property be reported each year to our office. If you receive a return, it is because we have determined that you may have property to report and we send the form to assist you. If you do not have property to report, sign and date the return and mail it to us with an explanation that you have no property to report.


    Q: What if I don't return the form?
    A: In that event, the law requires that our office place a value on your property using the best information available, together with a 25% penalty.



    GENERAL (Back to Top)

    Q: What kinds of information are available at the Property Appraiser's office?
    A: We keep a record of all sales that occur in the county. In addition, we have information about the size of all parcels and about the structures located on the property. We have ownership maps and aerial photos of the entire county. These are in digital form and can be printed if you need copies.


    Q: Can you help me to buy or sell property?
    A: No. Even though we do have information that may be useful to you if you plan to buy or sell property, we don't have any listings of property for sale, nor will we be able to assist you in selling your property.







  • Back to Top


    DISCLAIMER
    This information was derived from data which was compiled by the Lafayette County Property Appraiser's Office solely for the governmental purpose of property assessment. This information should not be relied upon by anyone as a determination of the ownership of property or market value. No warranties, expressed or implied, are provided for the accuracy of the data herein, it's use, or it's interpretation. Although it is periodically updated, this information may not reflect the data currently on file in the Property Appraiser's office. The assessed values are NOT certified values and therefore are subject to change before being finalized for ad valorem assessment purposes.