Tax time can be stressful even when it comes to your property tax bill. Most counties now have a website to look up your tax information. If you are computer savvy, you can log onto the site to view your taxes, and if they are showing paid or still due. To relieve some of the stress surrounding property tax time we’ve put together some helpful information. Please feel free to contact us if you have any additional questions about your property taxes.
I have a Tax Escrow Account. How do I ensure my taxes are paid?
In most cases, you have an option to either receive a check from your escrow servicer to pay your taxes directly yourself or have the bill paid directly by the servicer to your county’s Treasurer. If possible, review your mortgage paperwork to see which option you chose so you know what to expect. If you chose the option for the bill to be paid directly, the paid information should show on the county.
In some cases, your bill can be overlooked. The escrow servicer has staff that are just like you and I, and can make mistakes. Your best defense of this is to check with your servicer in November, and mail or fax your tax bill in, with your loan number on it. If you need the fax number or address, give us a call and we may be able to assist you.
My home was new construction and I got a letter in the spring showing it is now fully assessed. How do I calculate what my property tax bill will likely be?
Usually, the tax assessor will send a sheet with a formula to assist you in calculating what your bill may be. In most cases, you can get a good idea by taking the tax value and multiplying it by the current mill rate. Because mill rates can change every year, this is just a way to get an estimate. You can contact your local tax assessor for the best information. Once you have this estimate, I recommend dividing that number by 12 and depositing that additional amount into your escrow account if you have one, or into your savings, each month. This can help ensure when the bill comes at holiday time, your Christmas Club account doesn’t go for taxes!
I just learned my escrow servicer won’t pay my property tax bill until January, and I really wanted to have my tax bill paid this year. What can I do?
This can be a very frustrating feeling. You are not completely out of control. You can pay the bill yourself, and when the servicer sends the payment to the tax authority, it will be refunded back to your escrow account as an overpayment. Then, your escrow servicer will refund the overage in your account back to you. We all don’t have that cash available to do this at holiday time, but the difference in tax savings may be worth looking into a short term loan to get the bill paid this year. If this scenario happens to you, please contact us and we will review your options to see if we can help.
These sites will give you all of the current information available on your property tax bill:
Broward County: Broward County Property Taxes
Charlotte County: Charlotte County Property Taxes
Desoto County: Desoto County Property Taxes
Hillsborough County: Hillsborough County Property Taxes
Lee County: Lee County Property Taxes
Manatee County: Manatee County Property Taxes
Pasco County: Pasco County Property Taxes
Palm Beach County: Palm Beach County Property Taxes
Pinellas County: Pinellas County Property Taxes
Sarasota County: Sarasota County Property Taxes
Again, we stress the importance of talking with your tax advisor to ensure your tax bill is paid at the best time for you. Each situation is very different, and it’s important to know all of your options. Remember, we are always here for any of your mortgage questions.
Tax Advice Disclaimer: The information on this website should not be used in any actual transaction without the advice and guidance of a professional Tax Adviser who is familiar with all the relevant facts. Although the information contained here is presented in good faith and believed to be correct, it is General in nature and is not intended as tax advice. Furthermore, the information contained herein may not be applicable to or suitable for the individuals’ specific circumstances or needs and may require consideration of other matters.