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Dan Starowicz, Realtor, Sand Castle Realty, 239-603-6100

Daniel G. Starowicz, P.A.

and associates

239-603-6100

Toll Free 1-800-301-4341

International 00-1-239-603-6100

Skype: dan.starowicz

 

Sand Castle Realty Group, Inc.

4020 S. Del Prado Blvd Ste B-2

Cape Coral, FL 33904

[ Additional locations ]

Dan@TopWaterfrontDeals.com

Sand Castle Realty 239-603-6100

Daniel G. Starowicz, P.A.

and associates

239-603-6100

Toll Free 1-800-301-4341

International 00-1-239-603-6100

Skype: dan.starowicz

 

Sand Castle Realty Group, Inc.

4020 S. Del Prado Blvd Ste B-2

Cape Coral, FL 33904

[ Additional locations ]

Dan@TopWaterfrontDeals.com

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Daniel G. Starowicz P.A., Sand Castle Realty Group, Inc., (239) 603-6100

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SW FL Guide > Property Taxes

Property Taxes in Southwest Florida

Tax info unfortunately isn’t part of the listed info, but it’s quite easy to obtain.

For Lee County cities: Fort Myers, Cape Coral, Sanibel, Captiva, Pine Island, Fort Myers Beach, Estero, and Bonita Springs, simply go to the Lee County Tax Collector’s site: www.LeeTC.com.  From the drop down “Property Taxes” choose to search records, then in the middle of the screen switch the drop-down box from “Account” to “Address” instead. Plug in an address, and click on the details button once the results load.  Then click on “Tax Detail.” The exact results will now be displayed, like the following:

A few items to note: see the red circled $2545.98 figure? That’s the annual property tax amount.  We pay yearly in this part of the country. Garbage collection is also rolled into the billing here.

Now in the bottom left you will see a slightly lower figure under November.  The way it works here is that taxes are due in March of the following year (paid in arrears) BUT if you pay them early, you get a 1% reduction for each month of early payment. Up to a max of 4% less, if paid in November.  If you are financing your purchase and have escrows, the lender is expected to pay them in November, to maximize your discount. 

Example of a Lee County tax bill

For property taxes in the Collier County cities of Naples & Marco Island: go to www.CollierTax.com instead.

Will the property tax amount change?

Yes, they reassess each property every year, and therefore they change at least a little bit every single year in this section of Florida. There’s a tool for helping you make calculations though. Again go to the Lee County Property Appraiser’s site and type in an address.  Again, click that details page. However, instead of clicking “Tax Detail” just below that is “Link to Property Appraiser’s Tax Estimator.” Click that instead. > Continue > Ok. Then punch in the estimated sales price to get an idea as to what the new tax amount should be.

There are two results: estimated taxes and estimated taxes with homestead exemption. If you can call this a primary residence, you may be entitled to that homestead discount. In short, it typically saves you $600-700 a year or so. 

A common misconception I run into is that investors and/or foreigners think they may be subjected to a higher property tax rate than say someone buying a second home here. That’s not actually true.  Everybody is taxed at the same rate.  Only via any special exemptions does anyone receive lower rates- homesteading is an example of one of those, for owner-occupants.

There are actually two parts to Homesteading: 1) The homestead exemption itself and 2) the Save-Our-Homes exemption. First off, the homestead exemption basically knocks off $50,000 from your properties taxable assessed value (with a few exceptions). This is great news for owner-occupants.  Second, is the Save-Our-Homes act which basically means if you live in your home year after year, that in no single year can your taxes increase by more than 3%. This means no surprises next year when you get the bill.

Additional exemptions exist for disabled veterans, widows and low income seniors.  The details can be found at the following: http://www.leepa.org/Exemption/GeneralExemptionInfo.aspx.

Another important point to make: We also want to look at property tax bills to see if they include payments for any form of municipal assessments. For example: In Cape Coral, many properties were converted to city utilities in recent years and have unpaid assessments remaining due. For example say $11,000 remaining due, to be inherited by the purchaser of the property, and paid back yearly at the rate of $1100/year, paid at the same time as the property taxes.

Because this $1100/year figure is rolled in with the tax bill, it therefore can make the property taxes seem unusually high when that’s not really the case. So just remember that you want to watch for that, as you don’t want to incorrectly strike a property from consideration because you thought the taxes were too high.

Should you have additional questions, here’s the contact numbers:
Lee County property appraiser: 239-533-6100
Lee County tax collector 239-533-6000

Next we’ll discuss insurance a bit.  But before doing so, as one last parting thought regarding taxes: don’t misinterpret assessed value as market value!  While I understand in certain parts of the country their might be some validity to that, it’s absolutely not the case here!  Doing so will quickly misguide you. Should you wish for more accurate market value, simply give me a call at 239-603-6100 to discuss.

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Maps/ Aerial Images Courtesy Google Maps, Microsoft Live, Yahoo Maps, and/or LeePa

Daniel G. Starowicz, P.A.    Sand Castle Realty Group, Inc.   4020 S. Del Prado Blvd. Suite B-2, Cape Coral, FL 33904     239-603-6100

LeeHouses.com and TopWaterfrontDeals.com by Dan Starowicz. (C) 2013