In August of each year property owners receive their proposed property values and potential assessments on their property. Property owners who believe that their property was wrongly assessed can petition the Sarasota County Property Appraiser until mid-September. Then around late October we receive the actual tax bill.
Property taxes are paid in arrears (after the fact). They are due on March 31st of the following year. However property owners receive a 1% discount for each month early they pay. So the earliest payers, those who pay in November, receive a 4% discount. December payers receive a 3% discount, and so forth until March when there is no discount.
A Very Brief History of Sarasota Property Taxes
In 1992 “Save Our Homes” was set in motion for properties with a homestead exemption. This capped any increases in the assessed value at the lower of 3% or the Consumer Price Index (CPI)- which for 2017 is 2.1%.
In 2008 portability was put in place for homesteaded residences. (When moving from one homestead to another homestead.) The difference between the market value of a property and the assessed value of a property as calculated by the Sarasota Property Appraiser create a “Save Our Homes” Benefit.
This benefit can be applied to a new homestead, allowing the owner to be taxed on a lower assessed value in their new homestead. This benefit is capped at $500,000 of property value and may result in several thousand’s of dollars in tax savings.
In 2009 a cap was instituted on non-homesteaded properties. This 10% cap on increases in assessed value directly benefits many including our 2nd home owners from other states and countries.
In my experience the current property appraiser’s team is quite accessible and willing to help answer questions.
How Will Market Values Affect 2017 taxes?
Much has been made this year in particular of increases in home prices. For home-buyers a primary concern is “what are my taxes going to be?”
It is true that median home sales prices are up, however market value as calculated by the property appraiser have not gone up. This is a good thing.
My research indicates that for 2017 market values are a little lower, a little higher or about the same as in 2016. This indicates flat taxes from the year prior. And remember a property’s value is of January 1 of the calendar year. So I am comparing the values of Sarasota property from January 1, 2017 to January 1, 2016.
Looking at some of our sales and listings this year, on average market values increased by just under 1.5% from 2016 to 2017. The biggest increase was 14% and the biggest decrease was 9%.
Two takeaways are that market prices and market values are two very different numbers, and we are not in a market where the rising median price is lifting all properties equally.
Before you sell or buy, give me a call if you want to have a market expert guide you through the process.