Learn The Basics
Real Estate Tax Defined
The term real estate tax is a common reference to a tax on real property. Real property refers to land, buildings, fixtures and all other improvements to a piece of land.
Florida law divides property tax responsibilities between two separate agencies: the property appraiser's office and the tax collector's office (our office).
- The property appraiser's office establishes the assessed value, and the board of county commissioners, school board, and other levying authorities set the millage rates. One mill equals $1 per $1,000 of property value.
- The tax collector's office collects the taxes in accordance with the property tax roll, which is certified by the property appraiser each year.
- The TRIM notice that you receive each year comes from the property appraiser's office, and your tax bill comes from the tax collector's office.
Division of Responsibilities
This division of responsibilities means that our office can assist you with some, but not all, of your property tax questions. For information about or assistance with the items below, visit the St. Lucie County property appraiser’s website or contact the appraiser's office at 772-462-1000:
- Assessments or values
- Exemptions, including homestead
- Property cut-outs or combinations
Ad Valorem & Non-Ad Valorem Taxes
Real estate taxes consist of ad valorem taxes, which are based upon the assessed value of real property, and non-ad valorem assessments, which are levies based on the cost of providing a service such as erosion control and water control. Ad valorem taxes are based on the assessed value of real estate, tangible personal property, and centrally assessed property. The property appraiser's office establishes the assessed value, and the board of county commissioners, school board, and other levying authorities set the millage rates. One mill equals $1 per $1,000 of property value.
Florida's Constitution prohibits state government from levying ad valorem taxes on real property and tangible personal property. This gives counties, school districts, municipalities and special taxing districts the right to levy ad valorem taxes on real property and tangible personal property. The state legislature can and does regulate the maximum rate at which ad valorem taxes can be levied and the manner in which they are collected.
Non-ad valorem assessments are based on the value or benefit to the property, including things like fire control, sewer, paving, drainage, lighting and community development.
Municipal Services Benefit Units
Municipal Services Benefit Units (MSBU) special assessment rolls are certified to the tax collector by local governing boards, such as the county or cities. The tax collector consolidates the certified ad valorem, non-ad valorem, and the MSBU tax rolls and mails tax notices to property owners.
Explanation Of The Tax Bill
To learn more about your tax bill, please visit the Explanation of the Tax Bill page.