Florida non-ad valorem assessments are a special type of property tax. They’re a fixed charge rather than a percent of your property value.
What does non-ad valorem mean?
Ad valorem is a latin phrase that means according to value.
Valorem taxes are a tax based on the value of the property.
Non-ad valorem taxes are a fixed tax. Each property owner will generally pay the same amount.
What are non-ad valorem taxes for?
Florida property taxes vary by county. Some counties use only or nearly only valorem taxes.
You may also be part of a special district or assessment boundary that has different taxes than a nearby area.
Non-ad valorem assessments are often used as service charges. Common examples include water and sewer, waste collection, and fire or ambulance services.
You will sometimes see a one-time special assessment for something like repaving the roads in a specific neighborhood.
Note that there is no standardized system for Florida. For example, in many places, water and trash are billed and operated by private utility companies. Fire and ambulance services may be included in general taxes.
How do you find out what non-ad valorem taxes you have to pay?
Non-ad valorem assessments are generally included on your property tax bill.
Current homeowners can check their previous property tax bill. If you’re buying a home, remember that the previous homeowner often has exemptions or limitations that you may not qualify for. Your property taxes could be substantially higher than the previous owner’s.
Always check with the local property appraiser for taxes that may apply to a home you’re considering buying.
Each fall, you will also get a TRIM Notice or property tax notice. This notice tells you what taxes you’ll have to pay and who is charging you.
Do non-ad valorem assessments apply to all types of property?
What assessments you may have to pay depends on where you live and what type of property you have.
Some assessments may apply to all properties including residential, business, and agricultural properties. Other assessments only apply to certain types of properties or are in different amounts based on the type of property.
Some places also have special assessments on new construction to cover things like new roads and schools. These are often covered by the builder as part of construction costs, but you should check your contract if you’re buying new construction. You may also want to check with the property appraiser to see what, if any, special assessment districts you may be in.
Are there income or age exemptions from non-ad valorem assessments?
Property tax exemptions, such as the senior exemption, often don’t apply to non-ad valorem assessments.
Some local governments do have assistance programs based on income. Your local property appraiser’s office is usually the best source of information.