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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Property Taxes

There was a story on the evening news last night about the political debate going on in Tallahassee (Florida's state capitol) over property tax reform. It seems that real property values have increased so dramatically over the past few years that there are many new home buyers that can afford the price of the house, but cannot afford the property taxes. Likewise, existing homeowners are getting squeezed by ever-increasing property values that make their taxes more costly.

CLICK HERE to read a short article in today's Miami Herald that discusses the issues concisely.

The tax rate in Monroe County Florida is set near ten mills. That means property owners pay $1 for every hundred dollars of value of the real property. A home with an assessed value of at $890,000 would pay $8,900 per year in property taxes. If the property is homesteaded, the assessed value would be reduced by an additional $25,000, so the tax would be 890,000 - 25,000 = 865,000 X .01 = $8,650. CLICK HERE for a description of Florida's Homestead Statute.

I was very surprised to learn that the tax rate is not uniform across the state. Each county sets it's own rate. And some counties apparently have very high tax rates--much higher than Monroe County. So it is understandable why so many taxpayers are feeling the pinch.

If you are looking to buy a property in the Lower Florida Keys you can use a computer tool provided by the Monroe County Tax Assessor to predict what your property taxes would be on any given property. CLICK HERE to go the the page, identify the property, enter the proposed sales price, the the County Assessor's website will show you what your taxes will be.

A spokesman for the county assessor told me that the county looks at the sales price to make sure that the price paid was bona fide (arms length transaction) and the value of improvements to the property to determine the final assessed value. I always tell prospective buyers to contact the county assessor directly and not to rely on anything I or any other Realtor tells them about what their individual taxes will be. Do your homework so you are not mistaken or mislead. Generalizations are just that.

Florida does not have an state income tax. So property tax is one of the primary sources of funding local government. Don't expect any rapid or dramatic change to the current system. But it does look like some type of reform may be in the works.

CLICK HERE to preview all current mls listings in the Key West are. Then give me a call for further information. Thanks. 1-305-766-2642.

1 comment:

home for sale int allahassee said...

I actually enjoyed reading through this posting.Many thanks...

Homes For Sale in Tallahassee


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Gary Thomas in a Nutshell

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Key West, Florida, United States
I first read about Key West in a magazine called "After Dark" sometime in the mid 1970's. But it wasn't until March 1984 that I made my first visit to the island that would become my home. I had two weeks for a vacation and reserved a room at Colours Guesthouse (now Marrero's Guest House) for one week. I thought that if I didn't like Key West, I could always go back to Miami or Ft. Lauderdale for the rest of my trip. But after a couple of days in Key West, that was no longer a consideration. But when I wanted to extend my stay for the extra week I found there was no room at the inn. The guesthouse owner did find me a room at LaTeDa, the infamous guesthouse/restaurant. That's a story I'll write another day. But those two weeks in Key West gave me the realization that I had found Paradise. Key West has been my home since 1993 and my only regret is that it took me so long to get here. I am a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties CRI. Let me help you find your new home or business in Paradise. Living in Paradise is not a slogan, it's a way of life.