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. Here’s a link: http://www.leepa.org/taxestimator/default.aspx?folioId=10178010. Go to that site, 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 assessed value increase by more than 3%. This means no surprises next year when you get the bill!
Additional exemptions exist for deployed servicemembers, disabled veterans, disabled first responders, 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