Tax Estimator Disclosures and Considerations

Please read then acknowledge at the bottom of the page.


Current or previous year’s taxes may not accurately forecast future property taxes. Property taxes can increase from one year to the next for various reasons. Some of these reasons may be that the market value has changed, that the millage rate (also known as the tax rate) has changed, that the property has lost an exemption, or a property that was receiving an Amendment 10 “Save Our Homes” cap on assessed value has had the cap removed because it was sold.

The purpose of the real property tax estimator is to provide an estimate of real property taxes based upon the information you enter. The estimate is only as accurate as the information entered and it is only an approximation. The estimator will not provide actual taxes.

There are two components, ad valorem taxes and non-ad valorem assessments, which comprise this estimate:

Ad Valorem Taxes – These are property taxes based on the property value. The real property tax estimator will calculate the ad valorem portion of property taxes by multiplying the amount entered in Step 1 times the previous year's adopted millage rates (also known as the tax rate) of the local governments that taxed the property in the previous year. In the appropriate box, you should enter the most accurate estimate of the market value of the property on January 1st of the tax year for which you are estimating taxes. You may obtain this value by referring to a recent appraisal or a recent sales price of the property.

Keep in mind, however, that an appraisal or sales price that takes place months before the statutory assessment date of January 1st may not reflect market value on that date. This could be a problem with pre-construction sales prices, which may need to be adjusted to reflect the increase in value from the date of the contract to the January 1st appraisal date of the tax year for which you seek an estimate. Additionally, prior year assessment values found in the property appraiser’s records should not be used to estimate future taxes.

Non-Ad Valorem Assessments – These are assessments against the property that are not based on market value. They include special assessments and service charges for items such as solid waste districts, lighting districts, landscape districts, guard districts and Community Development Districts (CDD).  These non-ad valorem assessments are included in the estimate only if the local government charging them has arranged for them to be collected by the Polk County Tax Collector as part of the annual real property tax bill.

New subdivisions (or parcels) not currently found in the Property Appraiser’s file after entering the parcel number or address may be subject to non-ad valorem assessments that are not reflected in this estimate. Contact the developer or current owner/agent for additional information on applicable non-ad valorem assessments.

Special Considerations

1. Homestead Exemption Timelag

If you purchase a home after January 1st, you may inherit the previous owner’s Homestead Exemption and assessment limitation for that year. The following year, however, the homestead exemption and assessment limitation will be removed resulting in a higher assessed value.

If this property is your permanent residence to the exclusion of all others, you will have to file an original exemption application by March 1st. For additional information, please read our FAQ.

Obtaining a homestead exemption will qualify you for two tax benefits: (1) a reduction of up to $50,000 off of your assessed value and (2) beginning in the 2nd year, a limitation on any annual increase of your assessed value at no more than 3% regardless of the increase in the property’s market value.

Please note that any final determination of eligibility for Homestead Exemption depends on applicable Florida law.

If you are buying a home in which the seller had a homestead exemption, you should be aware that the seller’s assessed value may be artificially low due to the “Save Our Homes” limitation on the increase in assessed value. When the property is sold, this limitation is removed and the property is appraised at market value for the next tax year. This fact may result in a significant increase in taxes.

2. Disclaimer of Liability
(in addition to County’s Disclaimer)

The accuracy of this estimate is dependent upon the information you enter and the previous year’s millage rates. Millage rates are annually adopted by ordinance usually by October 8th. The Polk County Property Appraiser and Polk County expressly decline to warrant the accuracy of the estimates produced by this real property tax estimator. The property appraiser’s office and Polk County disclaim liability for any errors, either by omission or commission, regarding this real property tax estimator and the estimates produced by its use.

Last year's total taxes (both Ad-Valorem and Non Ad-Valorem) can be viewed on the Tax Collector's Web Site. Tax Collector's Web Site.

Use this site at your own risk.