I opened my mailbox this afternoon and found a letter from Mike Wells, the Pasco County Property Appraiser where I live telling me what my proposed property taxes for 2009 would be. Probably most of Florida's residents are also receiving these notices, also called Truth in Millage notices (TRIM). It is worth your while to closely examine the one that pertains to the property(s) that you own.
The notice will show you 3 main things:
- What your property taxes were last year.
- What they will be this year if proposed budget changes are made.
- What they will be if proposed budget changes are not made.
Some of you will notice that even if the budget does not change, your taxes could change. This is likely due to a change in the assessed value of your home. If its value went down, this often helps to lower your taxes. If the value of your home goes up then your taxes may go up.
There is a section on the left-hand side in the center where you can see what the county said your home was worth for taxing purposes (not necessarily resale value) last year and this year. Mine went down, and therefore it looks like my taxes may be a little lower this year. That may or may not be the case with your property. All properties are at least slightly different in some ways.
The top left-hand side of the page shows where your money will go, such as:
- Public schools
- City taxes (If you live in an incorporated city like Zephyrhills or Dade City)
- Water Management District
- Independent Special Districts
- Voter Approved Debt Payments
Keep in mind that there are also fees, not taxes, that we often have to pay that are not calculated using our homes' assessed values. For example: street lights, solid waste management, Community Development District Fees (CDD's), etc.
The notices also will tell you where and when the various hearings on the different budgets will take place. Remember there are school budgets, city budgets, county budgets, etc. Not just one budget that covers everything we are taxed for.
Along with the TRIM page there is a Question & Answer sheet that is very informative. On that same sheet there are contact numbers that you can call to get more information about your taxes. If you feel your taxes are too high, you can appeal them and this sheet also explains that process. Do not delay, you do not have forever to do this. As an alternative, you can also go to the Appraiser's office in person. The addresses of all of the offices are listed on the information brochure.
So keep an eye on your mailbox. If you do not receive your TRIM notice this week, you may want to call your county property appraiser's office and see what is going on. If you are unsure how to find them, you can go to my webpage at: www.jelwell.century21bnr.com and click on the left-hand button labeled County Property Appraisers. You will either find yours listed there or the link to the state site that will give you contact information for all appraisers in the entire state.
If I can be of further assistance, do not hesitate to contact me at: 813-783-4444 or e-mail me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
John Elwell - REALTOR
Bill Nye Realty, Inc.
Licensed in Florida