Ad Valorem taxes on real property are collected by the Tax Collector on an annual basis, beginning on November 1st for the year January through December. It is the responsibility of each taxpayer to ensure that his/her taxes are paid and that a tax bill is received.
The Property Appraiser's Office establishes the assessed value of a property and The Board of County Commissioners and other levying bodies set the millage rates. Using these figures, the Property Appraiser prepares the tax roll. Upon completion, the tax roll is then certified to the Tax Collector who prints and mails the tax notices. Tax notices are sent to the owner's last record of address as it appears on the tax roll. In cases where the property owner pays through an escrow account, the mortgage company should request and be sent the tax bill, and the owner receives a copy of the notice.
Tax statements are normally mailed out on or before November 1st of each year. The gross amount is due by March 31st. The following discounts are applied for early payment:
4% discount if paid in November.
3% discount if paid in December.
2% discount if paid in January.
1% discount if paid in February.
Gross amount paid in March, no discount applied.
Taxes become delinquent April 1st of each year.
Alternative (Installment) Payment Plan for Property Taxes
Taxpayers may choose to pay their property taxes quarterly by participating in an installment payment plan. To be eligible for the program, the taxpayers' estimated taxes must be in excess of $100.00. Those who qualify must fill out and return an Installment Plan application form to the Tax Collectors' Office prior to May 1st (application forms are available at all county tax offices).
The plan requires that the first installment must be made no later than June 30th to receive a discount. Payments accepted after June 30th, but before July 30th, are not discounted, and will include a 5% penalty. Failure to make the first payment will automatically cancel the participant from the plan, and the taxpayer will be required to pay the taxes due, in full by March 31st.
Upon meeting the first installment deadline, the taxpayer is then obligated to participate in the program for the entire year. Discounts do not apply to delinquent payments. Any amount remaining unpaid on April 1st is treated as a delinquent tax bill.
The following payment schedule applies to the installment plan:
1st installment: 1/4 the total of estimate taxes discounted 6%. Payment due by June 30th.
2nd installment: 1/4 the total estimated taxes discounted 4.5%. Payment due by September 30th.
3rd installment: 1/4 the total estimated taxes plus 1/2 of any adjustment made for actual tax liability, discounted 3%. Payment due by December 31st.
4th installment: 1/4 of the total estimated taxes plus the remaining 1/2 of any adjustment for actual tax liability. No discount applies. Payment due by March 31st.
Taxpayers participating in the installment payment plan are automatically re-enrolled each year and do not have to fill out a new application. The first 2 installments are based upon the prior years tax bill. Any changes to ownership, value, or exemption(s), will be reflected in the final 2 bills.
Delinquent Real Estate Taxes
Real estate taxes become delinquent each year on April 1st. Delinquent taxes must be paid by cash, cashiers check, or money order. The date the payment is received in the office determines the amount due. Florida Statutes require the Tax Collector, to advertise the delinquent parcels in a local newspaper, once a week for three consecutive weeks, prior to the tax certificate sale.
Beginning on or before June 1st, the Tax Collector is required by law to hold a tax certificate sale. The certificates represent liens on all unpaid taxes on real estate properties. The sale allows citizens to buy certificates by paying off the owed tax debt. The sale is conducted in reverse auction style with participants bidding downward on interest rates starting at 18%. The certificate is awarded to the lowest bidder. A tax certificate earns a minimum of 5% interest to the investor until the interest has accrued to greater than 5%, with the exception of "zero" interest bids, which always earn "zero" interest.
A tax certificate, when purchased, becomes an enforceable first lien against the real estate. The certificate holder is actually paying the taxes for a property owner in exchange for a competitive bid rate of return on his investment. In order to remove the lien, the property owner must pay the Tax Collector all delinquent taxes plus accrued interest, cost, and other charges. The Tax Collector then notifies the certificate holder of any certificates redeemed and a check is issued to the certificate holder.
A tax certificate is valid for seven years from the date of issuance. The holder may apply for a tax deed when two or more years have elapsed since the date of delinquency. If the property owner fails to pay the tax debt, the property tax deed is sold at public auction.
Tangible personal property tax is an ad valorem tax assessed against the furniture, fixtures, and equipment located in businesses and rental property. It also applies to structural additions to mobile homes.
The Property Appraisers' Office assesses the value of tangible personal property and presents a certified tax roll to the Tax Collector. It is the job of the Tax Collector to mail the tax notices and collect the money due. Tax statements are mailed on November 1st of each year with payment due by March 31st. Discounts apply for early payment.
4% discount if paid in November
3% discount if paid in December
2% discount if paid in January
1% discount is paid in February
Gross amount paid in March, no discount applied.
If the estimated tax is greater than $100.00, tangible personal property taxes may be paid quarterly.
Taxes become delinquent April 1st each year, at which time a 1.5 percent fee per month is added to the bill. Within 45 days after the property becomes delinquent, the Tax Collector is required by law to advertise a list of delinquent taxpayers one time in a local newspaper. Advertising costs are added to the delinquent bill.
Pursuant to Florida Statutes, tax warrants are issued prior to April 30th of the next year on all unpaid tangible personal property taxes. Within 30 days after the warrants are prepared, the Tax Collector applies to the Clerk of the Circuit Court for an order directing levy and seizure of the property for the amount of unpaid taxes and costs.
Any changes to the tax roll (name, address, location, assessed value) must be processed through the Property Appraisers' Office.
Honorable Danise Henriquez Monroe County Tax Collector 1200 Truman Avenue, Suite 101 Key West, Fl 33040