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Learn The Basics

LEARN THE BASICS

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.

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 by phone at 772-462-1000:

  • Exemptions, including homestead
  • Assessments or values
  • Property cut-outs or combinations

AD VALOREM VS. NON-AD VALOREM

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 (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.

YOUR TAX BILL

  1. Account number: This is a unique number assigned to each property. Please refer to this number if you have any questions.
  2. Legal description: Verify the legal description. If any errors are found, notify the property Appraiser's office immediately at 772-462-1000.
  3. Property owner(s): Verify the ownership. If you have sold this property, forward the notice to the new owners or return it to the tax collector's office.
  4. Mailing address: If your mailing address has changed, complete the address change form located in the informational pamphlet supplied with your tax bill. Please do not write on the portion of the tax bill being returned.
  5. Total taxes and assessments: No discounts have been subtracted from this amount. See the boxes on the bottom of bill for the correct amount to pay.
  6. Amount due: Pay only one amount. The totals in each box already reflect the discount.
  7. Delinquent tax due: If this message appears on your bill: "back taxes are due," please contact the tax collector's office at 772-462-1650.

For your receipt, keep the upper portion of the bill and your canceled check or the bank supplied image of your canceled check. No receipts will be mailed, unless a self-addressed and stamped envelope is returned with your payment.

A receipt can also be printed from TaxSys. Enter your name or parcel ID to locate your account, then choose Print This Bill (PDF). The paid date, amount and receipt number will become part of this bill after your payment has been posted.

Please return and do not write on the lower part of the bill with your payment.