Property taxes in Ocala and surrounding Marion County Florida can be confusing. The first thing is that the taxes you see on an MLS listing are probably not the taxes that you will be paying.
Marion County Property Appraisers web site. Everything below will reference a page on this site.
Property Tax Cap. Amendment 10 which was adopted in 1995 was intended to cap property taxes to keep seniors from getting taxed out of their homes. “the assessed value of property receiving Homestead Exemption will be limited in the amount of increase from the assessed value for the prior year. The increase shall not exceed THE LESSER OF 3 percent of the assessed value of the property for the prior year; or the percentage change in the Consumer Price Index (ie: 1995 = 2.7%).” However the result is an unfair system where there are 2 identical homes across the street from each other. One house was bought in 1999 and the other was just recently sold in 2007. The taxes on these 2 hypothetical homes will be hugely different due to amendment 10. See the FAQ section for more information.
Homes are reassessed when they are sold. That means the taxes a buyer will pay will be different from what the current owner is paying.
Taxes are assessed a year behind current market values. It is important to realize that taxes are a year behind in our declining market.
Foreclosures and Short Sales are taxed at the assessed value and not the sale price.
What will my taxes be? The best thing to do is to go to the tax estimator page of the Marion County Property Appraiser. Be careful to get the right district and rate. See the Tax Estimator page.
Non Ad Valorem Taxes. These are fees for specific services such as fire, ambulance or solid waste disposal and others. They are assessed to each property and are not affected by homestead deductions. Non Ad Valorem taxes have to be added to the property taxes from the tax estimator in the above link.
Exemptions. In addition to the Homestead exemption there are a number of other exemptions that can be found on the FAQ page.
Live in Florida? Property tax exemptions are now portable. That means if you move from one part of the state to here in Ocala you can bring your tax savings with you. See the Portability Calculator page.
Why don’t taxes drop as fast as property values? This is Amendment 10 again. There is something called the recapture rule. The recapture rule states that tax assessors must increase the assessed value of a house by up to 3% as long as that the assessed value is less than the home’s market value. A home’s market value has to go pretty low to get below the assessed value. This is why most people’s taxes are not going down even though their homes value has gone down.