Most people feel they pay too much in property taxes. But there are ways you can lower them.

Let’s look at the 5 steps you can take to lower your next property tax bill.

Request your property tax card

The local assessor’s office has on file all of the necessary information about your property. And you can request a copy of your tax card with this information from them.

On the property tax card, you’ll find information about:

  • Lot size
  • Square footage
  • Dimensions of the rooms
  • Number & type of fixtures on the property
  • Any special features or improvements made

Review the information. If there are any discrepancies, make a note of them and contact the Assessors Office. Depending on the issues involved, they will either do a further evaluation of your property or make the necessary corrections.

Either way, it is possible that you may well end up with a lower property tax bill by being proactive.

Compare your property with neighboring properties

Take some time and research the assessed values of similar neighboring properties. How does your property’s assessed value compare to the assessed value of these properties?

Any homeowner can ask for their home to be reassessed to determine its taxable value. If you believe the tax appraiser has misjudged the value of your home, or if the taxable value is higher than that of similar homes in your neighborhood, you may have grounds for an appeal. 

For example, let’s say your home has a one-car garage and an assessed value of $250,000. And a neighbor a few blocks away with the same size house has a 2-car garage and a pool with an assessed value of $225,000. This could be grounds to request a re-evaluation and result in lower taxes for you.  It takes some work, but it’s worth the effort.

Improvements to your property could mean higher taxes

Any structural changes to your property could increase your taxes (e.g. adding a deck, pool, an outside shed, or other permanent structure). It is safe to assume that home improvements of more than $5,000 will increase your taxes and be reflected on your tax bill. 

So before deciding to make any improvements, it’s worth calling your local building department and finding out what impact these changes will have on your tax bill. Then you can better evaluate whether the improvements you had in mind justify the potential annual increase.

Walk your home with the assessor

Whether an assessor comes out to your home varies by county, local government, and/or assessment period. So this may not apply to your current situation.

But if an assessor comes to your home, it’s a mistake to let them walk your property alone. They may only see the good points in your home and not the problems. So take this as an opportunity to point out any outdated appliances or existing structural damage. Property taxes are not always straightforward. So as the homeowner, you should make every effort to ensure you’re not paying more in Florida property taxes than you have to. 

Look for exemptions

There are many tax breaks for property owners in Florida that most people aren’t aware of. You can possibly reduce your property taxes if you meet the requirements for these exemptions:

You’ll have to check if you qualify and then apply by the required deadline. 

To learn more about the Homestead exemption, read our blog here. We’ll tell you what you need to know before taking the step to apply.

Have more questions about property taxes?

Let us know, and we’ll get you to the right resources and people.

Your Team at Liberty Title Company of America