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Glossary of Tax Terms

Ad Valorem
A Latin term meaning "according to worth," referring to taxes levied on the basis of value. Taxes on real estate and tangible personal property are ad valorem.

Appraisal
The dollar value assigned to a person's property by the Property Appraiser.  This amount, less any exemptions, is the basis of the ad valorem portion of the tax.

Assessment
The actual amount of tax a person owes.  The ad valorem portion is based on the appraised value of the property, less exemptions, multiplied by the millage rate.

Constitutional Tax Collector
The Florida State Constitution established the elected county office of Tax Collector in 1885, based on the principle that local taxes are best collected at the local level. Constitutional Officers are directly accountable to the voters and elected countrywide. The four other Constitutional Offices include the Clerk & Comptroller, Property Appraiser, Sheriff, and Supervisor of Elections.

Millage Rate
The rate of taxes levied based on a mill (1/10 of  one cent) or one dollar per one thousand dollars of taxable value.  A 30-mill tax rate levied against a taxable value of $100,000 would generate a $3,000 tax liability.

Non-ad Valorem Tax
Assessments not determined by millage or value. The levying authority calculates the tax using a unit of measure to assess the cost of services. For example, Solid Waste Authority fees are based on the type of property producing the waste.

Notice of Proposed Taxes (Trim Notice)
A notice issued by the Property Appraiser's office in August of every year that states current property taxes and proposed property taxes based on the budgets of all the taxing authorities.

Parcel
A geographically described tract of land for which a deed exists.

Property Control Number
A 17-digit number identifying real property.

Real Property
Land, buildings and improvements. The terms "land," "real estate," "realty" and "real property" are used interchangeably.

Tangible Personal Property
All goods and other articles of value such as fixtures, furniture, machinery and equipment.  For Florida taxation purposes inventory, vehicles and household goods are not considered tangible personal property. Find out more about Tangible Personal Property Tax.

Taxable Property
Real property and tangible personal property.

Tax Certificate
A first-lien instrument offered for sale by the Tax Collector through competitive bid to pay delinquent taxes.  A tax certificate expires seven years from the date issued.

Tax Deed Application
A legal document filed with the Tax Collector by the holder of a tax certificate to demand payment.  The tax deed may be applied for two years from April 1 of the year of issuance of the tax certificate. If the taxes are not paid by the date set for the tax deed sale, the property is sold by the Clerk & Comptroller to the highest bidder.

Tax Lien
A secured interest on a property for unpaid real estate taxes, assessments, penalties, advertising costs and fees. If a property owner fails to pay the delinquent taxes and fees, the Constitutional Tax Collector must offer a tax certificate for purchase at the tax certificate sale. A tax certificate does not convey or promise to convey ownership of the property.

Tax Warrant
A legal document which commands the Tax Collector to levy upon and sell personal property belonging to a taxpayer who hasn’t paid their Tangible Personal Property Tax.

 

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