Unlocking the Secrets of Property Taxes: What Every Homeowner Should Know
It’s that time to begin preparing for the holidays, pulling out the decorations, cleaning the garage and closets. But it’s also time to prepare for property taxes.
Lee County has set their property taxes to be paid in arrears, which means when you make this current payment, you are paying for 2023’s property taxes. Here’s what to consider when paying your property taxes this fiscal year.
1. You get a DISCOUNT if you pay your taxes early!
Your property taxes are billed on November 1st of every year and due on March 1st of the following year. If you pay your taxes within the month of November, you will receive a 4% discount on your property taxes! If you pay in December, you will receive a 3% discount, and in January a 2% discount, and February a 1% discount. The final day to pay the bill is March 31st where it must be paid in full.
2. Your property tax dollar amount is based on the value of your property.
Each year, the Lee County Property Appraiser's office values each home based on certain factors including land, buildings, and improvements on the property. These factors are taken into account and then exemptions are applied which can include county commission, municipalities, school board, and any special district locations. There are other factors considered, but these are the big ones.
3. When you purchased your home, check to see if your mortgage includes an escrow account.
If you purchased your home with a mortgage and you have an escrow account, there is a chance that your lender paid your property taxes already, which means you would have received the best discount (4%)! You technically paid the property taxes when you purchased your home, the lender just paid the bill for you. Reach out to your lender as soon as possible to learn more!
4. Don’t miss the bill, you can be delinquent and pay interest
If you happen to miss your property tax due date, the county will contact you with a Terms of Agreement Payment Plan to pay the delinquent amount of property taxes. This plan includes fees and interest rates, making it more expensive than expected. And that missed bill goes noted if you apply for a mortgage in the future, so don’t miss!
5. Homesteading can make your property taxes cheaper!
Homesteading is a potential $50,000 exemption removed from your assessed on your property taxes, ultimately making them cheaper! But how do you qualify? Answer these following questions:
1. Do you own a property in Lee County?
2. Is that property your permanent residence?
3. Have you occupied the home as your primary residence since January of the current year?
You may qualify for a Homestead Exemption!
Have any questions about about your property taxes? Give us a call today!