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TRIM "Notice of Proposed Property Taxes" FAQ

Are foreclosures, short sales, and REO sales considered when determining the value of non-sold homes in a neighborhood?

Foreclosures continue to impact real estate market in Orange County, although not to the degree as in the past several years.  Foreclosure occurs when a financial institution "repossesses" a property due to non-payment of the mortgage obligation. A short sale occurs when the financial institution agrees to accept a purchase price from a buyer which is less than the outstanding mortgage balance. The term REO stands for Real Estate Owned. These are bank owned properties. An REO or Bank Owned sale occurs when a financial institution sells its foreclosed property to an individual or investor.

The initial foreclosure "repossession" to the lender is not a sale and therefore not considered by the Property Appraiser when establishing values. However, short sales and REO sales may be considered on a neighborhood by neighborhood basis, depending upon the quantity of these sales compared to "traditional" sales of non-distressed properties, among other factors.

How is the market value of my home determined?

By law, the assessment date of all real and tangible personal property in Orange County is January 1 each year. The 2021 market value is based upon sales of comparable properties in 2020. Sales that have occurred during 2020 will impact assessments on the 2021 tax roll.

What is the non-Homestead property 10% cap all about?

The 10% non-Homestead cap was approved by voters in January 2008 and became effective as of the 2009 tax roll. This cap is automatically applied to all non-Homestead properties, so no application is necessary. Non-Homestead properties include those without a homestead exemption such as second homes, vacation homes, vacant land, commercial and rental properties. The 10% cap will only ensure your assessed value does not increase more than 10% from your previous year's certified assessed value, providing the ownership has not changed, there was not a split or combination of the lot in the previous year, or new construction has not occurred. This cap may or may not actually reduce your taxes due to other factors such as millage rates and non-ad valorem assessments, which are not determined by the Property Appraiser. The 10% cap does not apply to school millages.

If you purchase a property subject to the 10% cap, the property will be reassessed at full market value in the year following a change in ownership or control, similar to the way a homestead exemption property is handled. If you change ownership or control of a property subject to a 10% cap without the recording of a deed, you must notify the Property Appraiser promptly of that change. Failure to do so subjects the property owner to a lien for back taxes plus 15% interest per annum and a penalty of 50% of the taxes avoided.

How can I change my mailing address, file for homestead exemption, discuss or petition my property value? (click link)

How can the assessed value of my house increase when the market value is decreasing?

State of Florida Department of Revenue rules, which govern Save Our Homes, require that all county Property Appraisers increase the assessed value of your Homestead property annually by the lesser of either 3% or the percent change in the Consumer Price Index (CPI).  In 2020 that increase is 2.3%.  Even if the market value of your home decreased as of January 1, 2020, under Florida law, the assessed value could still increase a full 2.3% this year. This is referred to as "recapture".  Because of the "recapture" rule, it is possible for your assessed value to rise even though your property is declining in market value. 

Save Our Homes Tax Savings Comparison

Where can I see my $50,000 Homestead exemption?

Look at the bottom left corner of your TRIM notice, marked "exemptions", you will see a break down of each exemption applied to your property, including the additional Homestead.

You will receive full benefit of the additional $25,000 homestead if your property's assessed value is $75,000 or higher. If your assessed value is less than $75,000 but greater than $50,000, you will receive an additional homestead equal to the amount of value between $50,000 and $75,000. If your property's assessed value is $50,000 or less, unfortunately, the property is not eligible to receive any benefit from the additional homestead exemption.

Exemption Comparison Chart

What does each column on my TRIM notice mean and which tax amount will I have to pay?

The Property Appraiser has created an interactive version of the Proposed Property Tax Notice (TRIM) to explain each item on the form. When viewing your property record page, click on the TRIM icon as shown below, then simply place your cursor over each area of the interactive TRIM to highlight an explanation of that item.

Interactive TRIM Notice - Property Record Card

Why are my taxes higher than my neighbor's when our houses are the same?

"My neighbor and I have identical homes. Both were built in the same year and sit on identical lots. My neighbor bought his house six years ago and I just purchased my home last year. My estimated tax bill for this year is $11,470, but my neighbor's bill is only $5,460. There must be a mistake!"

No mistake. The intent of the "Save Our Homes" Amendment was to prevent Homestead property owners from being taxed out of their homes in the face of rapidly increasing real estate sale prices by allowing for the accumulation of a "capped difference" over time. This accumulation of non-taxed value, also known as the "Save Our Homes Benefit", causes the disparity. This is the scenario impacting your neighbor’s property, mainly due to the fact that they have owned their home for 6 years and you just purchased yours last year. They have enjoyed the benefit of an increasing "capped difference" over time, and especially during stronger real estate markets. During the recession and real estate downturn, many homestead properties decreased in value. So, both you and your neighbor may have seen your market value decrease, possibly making you and your neighbors property value and taxes more similar.  And as the market continues to grow again, you and your neighbor enjoy a similar benefit of the "Save Our Homes Benefit" cap. 

Save Our Homes benefit comparison