Florida’s property taxes average 1.1% of a home's assessed value. This is slightly below the national average of 1.211%. Florida’s property and sales taxes support the majority of state and local government funding, since the state does not levy a personal income tax.

Variables to Florida’s Property Taxes

A good portion of Florida’s economy comes from seasonal residents and tourism. Over 100 million tourists visited the state in 2015. In addition to sales tax revenue, citizens of Florida benefit from a homestead exemption on their property taxes. This means seasonal residents, and those who own rental and commercial properties, pay a higher property tax rate than primary residents.

Properties with assessed taxable values of $75,000 or more are eligible for a homestead exemption of $50,000. Properties with assessed values of less than $75,000 also receive this exemption on a sliding scale. In addition, the Save Our Homes (SOH) program limits the increase in taxable value of a primary residence to 3% per year. The accrued SOH benefit can be transferred when purchasing a new primary home within the state. Other exemptions for the elderly, the disabled and agricultural uses are also available.

The millage rate within Florida varies depending on the county in which the property is located. In 2015, Walton County had the lowest millage rate at 9.5133, while Alachua County was the highest at 23.5605. Living in an unincorporated area typically results in a lower millage rate. For example, in Alachua County, the city of Gainesville accounts for 4.5079 of the total 23.5605 millage rate. For a primary home assessed at $200,000, the millage difference between Walton and incorporated Alachua County equates to $2,107.08 per year.

Millage rates can vary drastically by city. In Lee County, the city of Fort Myers recorded a millage rate of 8.776 in 2015, plus a fire service fee, compared to the city of Bonita Springs at 3.1973, including the fire district fee. For a primary home assessed at $200,000, this results in a tax difference between the two cities of $882.63 per year, including the homestead exemption and fire service fee.

Non-Ad Valorem Taxes

In addition to property taxes based on the assessed value of the home, residents pay non-ad valorem taxes. These are assessments on properties for items including, but not limited to, fire service, solid waste, road maintenance, community development districts, waterways, bonds and water/sewer improvements. Non-ad valorem taxes vary significantly based on the county and city in Florida.

How Florida Compares to the National Average

Florida ranks 30th out of 51, including Washington, D.C., when it comes to the highest tax rate in the United States. With a median home price of $156,200, this equates to $1,718 per year in property taxes. The lowest property tax rate of 0.28% is in Hawaii. The median home value in Hawaii is $504,500, with annual property taxes of $1,405. The highest property tax rate of 2.29% is in New Jersey. The median home value is $319,900, which translates into $7,335 per year in property taxes.

How Florida Compares to Its Neighbors

Georgia ranks 25th in the U.S. with a tax rate of 0.96%. With a median home price of $148,000, this equates to $1,417 a year in property taxes. Alabama ranks second in the nation for the lowest property tax rate. at 0.43%. The median home price in Alabama is low at $123,800, resulting in an annual property tax of $538.

Walton County, Florida, borders Georgia. Using Florida’s median home price of $156,200, including the homestead exemption, the property tax in Walton County would be $1,010 per year, easily beating Georgia’s average property tax of $1,417.

Key Takeaways

Property taxes are not the only statistic to research when weighing total out-of-pocket expenses. Florida’s fair sales tax rate and no personal income tax offer savings when compared to other states. The effective tax rate and/or millage rate cannot fully describe the quality of life or government services offered in exchange for the cost.

Kentucky Property Tax Guide

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