The Real Estate and Tangible Personal Property tax rolls are prepared by the Property Appraiser’s office. They determine the ownership, mailing address, legal description and value of the property.
Exemptions for Homestead, Disability, Widows, and Agricultural Classifications are also determined by the Property Appraiser’s office.
The taxes are calculated by multiplying the property value less any exemptions by the millage rate, which is determined by the various County taxing authorities. A millage rate is the rate of tax per thousand dollars of taxable value.
Ad Valorem Tax Collection
Ad Valorem taxes on real property are collected by the Tax Collector’s office on an annual basis beginning November 1st for the year January through December. According to Chapter 197.122 Florida Statutes, all owner’s of property shall be held to know that taxes are due and payable annually and are charged with the duty of ascertaining the amount of current and delinquent taxes and paying taxes before the date of delinquency. If you do not receive a bill in November, call our office at 352-374-5236.
The tax notices are sent to the owner’s last address as it appears on the tax roll. Tax statements are normally mailed on or before November 1st of each year. The full 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
- Full amount paid in March, no discount applied
- Taxes become delinquent April 1st
Non-Ad Valorem assessments are assessed by the Alachua County Board of County Commissioners(BCC). These include mandatory refuse collection, paving, water extension, rural collection center and solid waste management. The rates for these assessments are determined by the BCC and certified to the Tax Collector for collection.
Property owners whose family income falls within the federal guidelines adopted by the BCC may be exempted from these assessments. Please contact Alachua County Social Services at (352) 264-6750.
Discounts for vacancy on residential rental property are also available. Please contact Alachua County office of WASTE COLLECTION at (352) 338-3233.
Taxpayers may choose to pay their property taxes quarterly by participating in an installment payment plan. To be eligible for the plan, the taxpayers’ prior year taxes must exceed $ 100.00. Those who qualify must fill out and return a 2015 Installment Payment Application to the Tax Collector’s Office no later than May 1st (application forms are available at the any location) or they can be printed off the web.
The plan requires that the first installment be made no later than June 30th. Failure to make the first payment will automatically terminate the participant’s eligibility for the remainder of the year. The taxpayer will then be sent a regular tax bill in November.
The 1st and 2nd installments are based on ¼ of the previous year’s taxes. The 3rd and 4th installments are ½ of the remaining actual tax liability for the current year.
- The 1st installment is due by June 30th and is discounted 6%
- The 2nd installment is due by September 30th and is discounted 4.5%
- The 3rd installment is due by December 31st and is discounted 3%
- The 4th installment is due by March 31st and is not discounted
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, and prior to the tax certificate sale.
Beginning on or before June 1st each year, the Tax Collector is required by law to hold a tax certificate sale. The Tax Certificate Sale is conducted online at https://bidalachua.com
The sale offers certificates for the amount of tax debt including applicable interest and fees. The sale is conducted in an 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.
The 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 or her investment. In order to remove the lien, the property owner must pay the Tax Collector all delinquent taxes plus accrued interest, costs, and other charges. The Tax Collector then issues a check to the certificate holder.
A tax certificate is valid for seven years from the date of issuance. The certificate 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 is sold at a public auction. The highest bidder will receive a tax deed for the property.
If a tax sale certificate does not receive any bids it is struck to the County. Eligible county-held certificates may be purchased from the Tax Collector’s office. The unsold certificates carry an 18% interest rate per Florida statute. All certificates are sold on a first-come, first-served basis.
For more information regarding the purchase of county-held tax certificates please visit https://alachua.lienexpress.net. Certificate buyers should be aware of the risks involved in purchasing tax certificates and thoroughly research any parcels of interest before purchasing.
The homestead tax deferral allows you to delay payment of taxes and assessments under certain conditions. The deferral is an option for people who are entitled to claim homestead exemption and have income low enough to qualify.
The deferral is a first lien against your property. Interest accrues on the deferred amount until it is paid. Interest may not exceed 7% per year. All deferred taxes plus interest are due and payable with any change in homestead exemption eligibility, use, ownership, or failure to maintain insurance on the property.
For a full deferral, the following income restriction applies:
- Prior year household adjusted gross income less than $10,000
- Persons 65 years or older whose prior year household adjusted gross income meets Florida Department of Revenue’s income limit (determined annually).
For a partial deferral:
- Persons under the age of 65 may defer the portion of their property tax that is more than 5% of the household adjusted gross income.
- Persons 65 years or older may defer the portion of their property tax that is more than 3% of the household adjusted gross income.
To qualify for a tax deferral, the following conditions apply:
- The property must qualify for the Homestead Exemption.
- The amount of primary mortgage on the property cannot exceed 70% of the assessed value of the Homestead.
- The application must be submitted by March 31.
- The deferral is an application for the current tax period (November – March).
- Proof of fire and extended coverage insurance in the amounts which is in excess of the sum of all outstanding liens, deferred taxes, non-ad valorem assessments and interest with a loss payable clause to the Constitutional Tax Collector.
If you pay your taxes through an escrow account, the mortgage company needs to request your tax bill from our office.
The mortgage company will receive the bill to be paid while you will receive an information only copy.
The mortgage company is required by law to pay taxes during the 4% discount period.
When your mortgage is satisfied, the mortgage company will need to remove your account from its list of requested bills.
Tangible personal property tax is an ad valorem tax assessed according to the value of assets such as furniture, fixtures, and equipment located in businesses or rental properties. It also applies to structural additions to mobile homes. The Property Appraiser assesses the value of tangible personal property on January 1st of each tax year.
With the exception of mobile home attachments, tangible personal property is normally assessed and taxed on the basis of information reported by the owner on a tangible personal property tax return, which is filed with the Property Appraiser. Businesses that file their return between January 1st and April 1st qualify for an exemption of up to $25,000. Failure to file a return or filing late will result in penalties plus loss of exemption.
It is the taxpayer’s responsibility to notify the Property Appraiser’s office of any changes to the tax roll such as ownership, business name, mailing address, location and tangible personal property changes.
If you have questions regarding filing a return or concerns regarding your assessment, please contact the Tangible Division of the Property Appraiser’s Office at (352)374-5234.
When Must Tangible Taxes Be Paid?
Tangible taxes must be paid at the same time as real estate taxes. Discounts are accepted according to the postmark of your payment. Tax bills are mailed out in November of each year with the following discounts allowed for early payment:
- 4% in November
- 3% in December
- 2% in January
- 1% in February
- 0% in March (Gross Tax)
Please note: Postmark is not accepted for delinquent taxes.
What Happens When Tangible Taxes Are Not Paid?
Unpaid tangible taxes become delinquent April 1st following the year of assessment. At this time a $10 delinquent fee is added to the tax bill and interest begins accruing at a rate of 1.5% per month until paid. On May 1st, a collection fee of 20% of the gross tax is added to the tax bill.
According to Florida Law, the names of persons or businesses with delinquent tangible personal property taxes must be advertised in the newspaper. The cost of advertising is added to the tax bill. If the tangible taxes remain unpaid, Florida Statute 197.413 requires the Tax Collector to prepare warrants against the delinquent taxpayers providing for the levy upon, and seizure of, tangible personal property. Once the warrant is issued, a $50 legal fee is added to the tax bill. If a levy/seizure is commenced, additional fees are added to the tax bill.
If the tangible personal property cannot be located or is sold by the Tax Collector through seizure for less than the amount due, all other personal property of the taxpayer is subject to seizure and sale.
If you are having difficulty paying your tangible taxes, please call the Tax Operations Department at (352)264-6968 to discuss payment options.
Who is Responsible for the Tangible Tax if the Property is Bought or Sold?
The tangible tax bill is issued to the owner who appears on the certified tax roll provided by the Property Appraiser. This owner is responsible for the tax bill for that year. Any proration of tangible taxes must be determined between the buyer and seller and handled at the closing of the sale.
Even though the warrant is issued in the owner’s name as provided by the Property Appraiser, it is important to note that the tax lien attaches to the tangible personal property. If the tangible taxes remain unpaid, this lien survives the sale or transfer of the tangible personal property. Therefore, it is very important to verify that tangible taxes are paid prior to the purchase of a business or rental property. This includes tangible taxes for the current year that have not been billed.