Sunday, October 21, 2007

Sarasota Property Taxes

Sarasota Taxes

Property Taxes - General Information

When do I pay my property taxes?

Florida law provides for certain discounts on CURRENT TAXES if they are paid before March of the following year. Discounts are accepted according to the POSTMARK of your payment. Tax bills are mailed out in November of each year with the following discounts in effect for early payment:

4% if paid in November
3% if paid in December
2% if paid in January
1% if paid in February

Gross taxes become due in March. Taxes become delinquent April 1st and additional charges become due.

What if I don't get my bill?

According to Florida law, it is the responsibility of the property owner to see that a bill is received and taxes are paid. Tax statements are sent to the owner and the address on record. If you move, it is your responsibility to send written notification to the Property Appraiser. A delay in recording of the deed can also result in your not receiving a bill on your property. You should have received a separate tax bill for each property you own. Verify that the legal description on the tax bill is for all of your property. If you do not receive a bill by November 15th, notify this office immediately or you can obtain one from this web site. Click here.

What if I receive a tax bill and I no longer own the property?

If you received a real estate tax bill for property you no longer own, please forward it to the new owner or return it to this office. If you received a tangible personal property tax bill for property you no longer own, but you did own on January 1, 2004, you are still responsible for paying the taxes. If you did not own the tangible personal property on or after January 1, 2004 you need to contact the Property Appraiser immediately at (941) 861-8200.

What if I receive a notice stating "This bill has been requested by an escrow company"?

This statement means that an escrow company has requested your original bill. By Florida law, when an escrow company requests a property tax bill, the tax collector is required to send it to them. The property owner then receives an informational notice, which is what you have. If your taxes are not escrowed through a mortgage company, you should submit payment with the bottom portion of your notice. If your taxes are escrowed you do not need to do anything further - your escrow company would have received the same bill. However, if your taxes are escrowed and you received the original bill (with no statement across the top), contact your mortgage company immediately.

How can I get a paid receipt?

Paid receipts can be printed anytime from this web site (click here) or can be received by fax from Tax Talk at (941) 861-8315.

Do I have to pay all my taxes at once?

If your taxes are at least $100 this year, you may choose to pay next year's taxes on the installment plan. Property owners must send a completed application to the Tax Collector before May 1st for taxes which will be due later that year. Otherwise, all taxes are due and payable in full. Applications can be printed from this web site (click here). Payments are quarterly: in June, September and December of the tax year, and March of the next year. Remember, you must plan ahead. If you wait until you receive your tax bill in November, it will be too late to pay by installment for that year.

What if I can't pay my tax bill?

Florida law entitles you to defer payment of a portion of your tax bill if you are eligible for homestead exemption. This also depends on your age and income. Interest is charged on the deferred taxes and treated as a lien against your property. Taxes and interest are due only upon your death or if you sell your home. Application must be made on or before January 31st. For more information, click here.

I bought the property in the middle of the year. Will I have to pay taxes for a whole year?

No matter when you purchase the property, as the owner, you are responsible for paying the entire tax bill mailed in November. However, taxes are usually prorated on the closing statement and credit is given by the seller for the time during the year that you were not the owner. This credit is between you and the seller. No money is given by the seller to the Tax Collector as partial payment of that year's taxes.

Who decides what my taxes will be?

According to Florida law, your tax bill includes both ad valorem taxes and non-ad valorem assessments. For more information about each of these: Ad Valorem Taxes Non-Ad valorem Assessments

Who do I contact for other questions?

Jim Todora, Property Appraiser (941) 861-8200 Karen Rushing, Clerk of Circuit Court (941) 861-7400

As a property owner in Sarasota County, it pays to be informed about your rights and responsibilities under Florida law. Understanding the procedures regarding property taxes can save you money and will help this office to better serve you. If you have questions not answered here, please do not hesitate to call us at (941) 861-8300 or e-mail to

For more information on the taxes for Sarasota please go to the following web site.:

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