If you have ever owned a home, then you have likely dealt with property taxes. Property taxes are paid every year and often change from year to year. If you are considering moving to Gainesville or any other city in Alachua County, then you need to understand how property taxes work in the county. This is everything you need to know about Alachua County property taxes.
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Alachua County Property Taxes
Before we dive into Alachua County property tax, it is important to understand what property taxes are. Property taxes are fees collected by the local government that are then used to pay for municipal services such as schools, road work, and libraries. The amount of property tax you pay is based on the value of your property.
Florida first established property taxes all the way back in 1838 as a way to pay for ongoing wars in the country. Now, property taxes in Alachua County are used to fund organizations such as police departments and educational institutions.
According to the Florida constitution, all property tax rates are set by the state’s local governments, which means that Alachua County determines its own tax rates. The property taxes in Alachua County are based on the market value of your property, which is determined by the property appraisers at the start of the year. Then, tax collectors will send you your property tax bill and collect your payments. Once they receive your payment, they will send the money to local governments, where your tax dollars will be dispersed among the different organizations.
Here’s an overview of both the Alachua County Property Appraiser and the Alachua County Tax Collector.
The Alachua County Property Appraiser is charged by the State Constitution and is given the task of appraising all property in the county at 100% of market value as of January 1st at the start of each year. Because this appraisal happens annually, this means that the value of your property can change each year. The Alachua County Property Appraiser also handles real estate tax exemptions and updates the Alachua County property search database, where you can search for your property’s value online.
The Alachua County Property Assessor is Ayesha Solomon. Her office is open Monday through Friday from 8AM to 5PM.
Alachua County Property Appraiser, 515 N Main St Suite 200, Gainesville, FL 32601, 352-374-5230
Once the Property Appraiser decides the value of your property, the Tax Collector is responsible for sending out your Alachua County property tax bill. They will then collect your payments and dole them out to the proper institutions. The Tax Collector also provides services for motor vehicle titles and registrations, drivers licenses, concealed weapons licenses, and birth certificates. The Alachua County Tax Collector’s office collects around $390 million annually in taxes and fees to distribute among the 25 taxing authorities.
The Alachua County Tax Collector is John Power. You can schedule an appointment on the Tax Collector’s website.
There are three Alachua County Tax Collector locations:
- Alachua County Tax Collector – Downtown Branch, 12 SE 1st St, Gainesville, FL 32601, 352-374-5236, Mon-Fri 8:30AM to 4:30PM
- Alachua County Tax Collector – Northwest Branch, 5830 NW 34th Blvd, Gainesville, FL 32653, 352-374-5236, Mon-Fri 8:30AM to 4:30PM
- Alachua County Tax Collector – Southwest Branch, 3837 Windmeadows Blvd, Gainesville, FL 32608, 352-374-5236, Mon-Fri 8:30AM to 4:30PM
Alachua County Property Tax Rate
Alachua County property taxes are based on the market value of your property, which is determined by the Property Appraiser at the beginning of the year. Market value is how much your property would sell for in an open market and is determined by analyzing sales of similar properties, the cost to reproduce the property, and the ability of the property to earn income. In Alachua County, the appraiser uses a Computer Assisted Mass Appraisal (CAMA) system that incorporates the three approaches to value.
Another important key in determining the Alachua County property tax rate is the millage rate. Millage is a tax rate that is defined as the “dollars charged for each $1,000 of value.” One mill is one dollar of tax for every $1,000 of your property’s assessed value. The millage rate is set by the various taxing authorities where your property is located. The millage rate is set by dividing the area’s total budget by the total taxable value of property within the taxing district. Each city in Alachua County has its own millage rate.
The final Alachua County property tax rate comes from the equation of:
Taxable value/1,000 x millage rate = Property Tax Owed
For example, if you are the owner of a property that has a taxable value of $100,000 and a millage rate of 5.2, you would owe $520 in property tax.
It is important to remember that most residential properties in Florida are subject to millage rates from multiple taxing authorities. This means that multiple millage rates go into your final property tax bill. Here is an example of a property tax bill with millage rates from multiple taxing authorities:
Here is an example of an Alachua County property tax bill. As you can see, the bill has the general millage rate as well as additional millage rates for schools, libraries, law enforcement, and water.
What are property tax rates in Alachua County?
The millage rate for Alachua County in 2022 was 7.7662. According to Redfin, the average home price in Alachua County is $336,200. Without any exemptions, this means that the average Alachua County property tax bill is $2,609.44. This is about a 0.78% tax rate. This is less than the state average of $3,339 and more than the U.S. average of $2,471.
Although you cannot determine your exact Alachua Property tax bill, you can use the Tax Collector’s Bill Estimator Calculator. This will allow you to get a rough estimate of your tax bill for the year.
Alachua property taxes by city
Every city in Alachua County has its own millage rate and, therefore, its own property tax rate. Here are the Alachua County millage rates for 2022. As you can see, they are all different, but none are drastically far from another.
Gainesville is the county seat of Alachua County, so most people are subject to Gainesville property taxes.
Alachua County Property Tax Payments – Due Dates & How to Pay Your Tax Bill
When are Alachua property tax bills due? Tax statements are mailed out on or before November 1st of each year. The Alachua County property tax due date for the full amount is March 31st. However, if you pay your bill early, you will receive the following discounts:
- Paid in November: 4% discount
- Paid in December: 3% discount
- Paid in January: 2% discount
- Paid in February: 1% discount
- Paid in March: no discount
If you fail to pay your bill by March 31st, your taxes become delinquent.
Once you receive your bill, there are various ways to make your Alachua County property tax payment. You can pay in person at the Alachua County Tax Collector’s Office or on the Tax Collector website by credit, debit, PayPal, or e-check. There is a 2.5% processing fee for credit, debit, and PayPal transactions and a $1 processing fee for e-check transactions.
If you prefer not to pay your property taxes in full, you can sign up for the Installment Payment Plan. To be eligible for the plan, your prior year taxes must exceed $100.00. This plan allows you to pay your property taxes quarterly rather than annually. The payments are due on June 30th, September 30th, December 31st, and March 31st.
If you fail to pay your property taxes or pay after the due date, the Tax Collector will include your delinquent parcel in a tax certificate sale. The certificate is the amount of tax debt, including applicable interest and fees. The certificate is awarded to the lowest bidder and becomes an enforceable first lien against the real estate. The property owner must then pay the Tax Collector all delinquent taxes plus interest, costs, and other charges. The Tax Collector will then issue a check to the certificate holder. If the property owner fails to pay their debts, the property is sold at a public auction.
Alachua County Property Search/Tax Records
If you want to conduct an Alachua County property lookup to find out information on your current or future home, you can access this information online with a few clicks. Property taxes in Alachua County are public information, so you can typically find out how much any given property owner is paying.
The Tax Collector’s Property Tax Lookup Tool is a great resource for taxpayers. All you need to do is enter a name, address, or account number to access a property’s tax record.
Alachua County Property Tax Exemptions
There are several Alachua County property tax exemptions for you to take advantage of. The most popular is the Alachua County Homestead Exemption. To qualify for this exemption, you must:
- Have legal or equitable title to the property
- Occupy the property
- Have the intention of making the property your permanent residence
- Be a United States citizen
If you qualify for the homestead exemption, you may receive an exemption that reduces the taxable value of your property up to $50,000. This can save you nearly $1,000 every year. To apply for this exemption, you must file an application before March 1st of the tax year in which you wish to qualify. This Alachua County property tax homeowner exemption renews each year, so you do not have to reapply as long as you are residing in the same home.
Other Alachua property tax exemptions include:
- Alachua County property tax exemption for seniors: If you are 65 or older, you may receive an additional homestead exemption of up to $50,000.
- Alachua County property tax exemption for veterans or active duty military: If you are an active service member or veteran with a service-related disability of at least 10%, you can qualify for a $5,000 exemption. Spouses and widows of service members may also receive a $5,000 exemption. These exemptions can be higher if you or your spouse has a total or permanent disability.
- Disabled persons: If you own a home and are a quadriplegic, you are exempt from all valorem taxation. If you own a home and are a paraplegic, hemiplegic, permanently disabled, or blind, then you are exempt from taxation if the gross household income is below the current gross income limit.
- Widow: If you are a widow, you can qualify for a $5,000 exemption.
Alachua County Property Tax Appeals
Are you worried that your Alachua County property taxes are too high? Before you make your Alachua County property tax payment, you may want to file an appeal. The appeals process begins in August when a property owner receives the Notice of Proposed Property Taxes. On your notice, there will be public hearing dates, times, and locations for each taxing authority and your proposed property values.
The first step to making an appeal is to meet with one of the appraisal consultants at the Alachua County Property Appraiser’s office. During this meeting, you will review all of the information that goes into determining the market value of your property. You will discuss why you disagree with them and show them any paperwork that illustrates the real value of your property.
If you decide to continue in the appeals process, you will then move on to the Value Adjustment Board. This procedure is more complex, so it is recommended that you try to solve any issues in your first meeting.
If you are still not satisfied after meeting with the VAB, then you should file a suit against the Property Appraiser’s office in circuit court. At this point, you should consult an attorney to assist you with the legal process.
Alachua County Property Tax FAQ
When are property taxes due in Alachua County?
Alachua County property tax payments are due no later than March 31st. If you opt for the payment plan, then the Alachua County property tax due dates are June 30th, September 30th, December 31st, and March 31st.
How do I pay my property taxes in Alachua County?
You can pay your Alachua County property taxes in person at the Alachua County Tax Collector’s Office or on the Tax Collector website by credit, debit, PayPal, or e-check.
What is the Alachua County property tax rate?
The millage rate for Alachua County in 2022 was 7.7662, making the average bill $2,609.44 (a 0.78% tax rate).
When are Alachua County property tax bills mailed?
Alachua County property tax bills are mailed out before November 1st every year.
Now that you know how Alachua County property taxes work, it’s time to make your move! 2 College Brothers is the top moving company in Alachua County and is here to make your moving experience a great one. Give us a call today at 352-486-7230 to discuss your move and receive a free quote.