Owning your own home comes with many hidden expenses. One of the biggest, which can change dramatically over time, is property taxes. It’s also one of the most complicated costs of homeownership to understand and estimate. Are you buying a house in Tampa? You’ll definitely want to know what to expect when your tax bill arrives.
Hillsborough County is among the top 10 when you rank Florida property taxes by county in terms of tax rates, and rising home prices in the Tampa area haven’t helped. This complete guide to Hillsborough County property tax covers everything you need to know including property tax rates in the county, how to pay your tax bill, appealing your home’s appraised value, and ways to lower your Hillsborough County property taxes through exemptions.
Table of Contents
Overview of Hillsborough County Property Taxes
Florida law requires the Hillsborough County tax assessor to establish the county’s property tax base every year. On January 1, Hillsborough County property appraisers determine the fair market value for every property. Next, tax exemptions, assessment limitations, and classifications are applied to determine the taxable value of each property.
Hillsborough County property appraisers assess taxes owed based on levies set by taxing authorities in the county. Taxing authorities including counties, municipalities, school boards, and special districts set millage rates for the upcoming year based on their annual budget.
The tax roll prepared by the Hillsborough County FL tax assessor is reviewed in July and August by the Florida Department of Revenue.
Property taxes are billed and collected by the Hillsborough County tax collector. Your tax bill is based on the taxable value of your property which is established by the Hillsborough County Property Appraiser. Once local governments have adopted property tax rates, the Hillsborough County property tax collector prepares and mails your annual property tax bill in November.
The Hillsborough County FL property appraiser is responsible for determining the fair market value and taxable value of your property. There are about 60 Hillsborough County property appraisers on staff who collect property data which is entered into the computer assisted mass appraisal (CAMA) system to estimate property values.
Another important role of the property appraiser’s office is reviewing tax exemption applications and ensuring all valid exemptions are applied.
The property appraiser also sends your annual Truth in Millage (TRIM) notice. Your TRIM notice sent in August tells you your property’s taxable value as of January 1 and provides an estimate of your property taxes based on millage rates proposed by taxing authorities. It does not include your estimated non-ad valorem taxes.
Florida’s TRIM Act establishes specific requirements taxing authorities must follow and sets maximum millage levies for independent special districts, municipalities, and counties.
Hillsborough County Property Appraiser Office & Contact Info
- The Hillsborough County Property Appraiser is Bob Henriquez.
- The Hillsborough County Property Appraiser office is located at 601 E Kennedy Blvd, Tampa, FL 33602 in the Frederick B. Karl County Center on the first floor.
- Click here for additional Hillsborough County Tax Assessor office locations.
- The property appraiser office hours are Monday to Friday, 8 am to 5 pm.
- You can contact the Hillsborough County Property Appraiser at (813) 272-6100 or use the live chat feature on the HCPAFL.org website.
- Click here to submit a request for an in-person appointment.
The Hillsborough County, Florida tax collector is responsible for sending property tax bills, collecting tax payments, and distributing funds. If taxes become delinquent and are unpaid by the Tax Certificate Sale at the end of May, the tax collector sells a tax certificate to collect the tax amount. Tax deeds can be sold if the owner fails to pay back property taxes, interest, and penalties within two years.
The Hillsborough County tax collector’s office is an agent of the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (Hillsborough County DMV). Their office handles not only property taxes but vehicle titles and registrations, Florida driver’s licenses, hunting and fishing licenses, certified birth certificates, and more.
Hillsborough County Tax Office Location & Contact Info
- The Hillsborough County Tax Collector is Nancy C. Millan.
- The main Hillsborough County tax collector Tampa, FL office is located at 601 E Kennedy Blvd, Tampa, FL 33602 in the Frederick B. Karl County Center.
- Click here to see all Hillsborough County tax offices.
- Hillsborough County Tax Collector hours are Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5 pm (9 am to 5 pm on Wednesday)
- Contact the Hillsborough County tax office at: (813) 635-5200
Hillsborough County Property Tax Records
You can search Hillsborough County property public records through the Property Appraiser website. Click here to search Hillsborough County property tax records.
The property search tool at HCPAFL shows the following:
- Your Truth in Millage (TRIM) Notice
- Sales price and date
- Homestead exemption status
- Taxing districts
- Market value, assessed value, and taxable value
- Any scheduled Value Petition Board hearing
If you have not done so, there is a link to e-file for homestead exemption. There will also be a link to your real estate account with the Hillsborough County Tax Collector. You can print a copy of your Hillsborough tax bill, pay your taxes online, view and print past tax bills, and apply for the installment plan online.
If you are only interested in viewing or paying your property tax bill, click here to do a Hillsborough County property tax search through the Hillstax.org Property Tax Collector website.
You can also use the Hillsborough County GIS tool to view property on a map. The Hillsborough County Property Appraiser GIS map lets you search for parcels by parcel number, address, or owner name, view neighborhoods and subdivisions, see Hillsborough County property tax maps, and view property sales by year.
Hillsborough County Property Tax Rate – How Much Are Property Taxes in Hillsborough County FL?
The Board of County Commissioners, City Council, the School Board, and other governing bodies set property tax rates or millage rates. The millage rate is expressed as a rate per $1,000 of taxable value. One mill is $1 for every $1,000 of taxable value.
Below, you can see the Hillsborough County property tax rate by municipality. This includes a breakdown of millage rates by taxing authority or special district.
The Tampa FL property tax rate is 19.7121 mills or $19.7121 per $1,000 of taxable value. That’s an effective property tax rate of 1.97%, not counting any exemptions. Tampa property taxes are the highest in the county, but they are not much higher than the cities of Plant City and Temple Terrace. Unincorporated areas of Hillsborough County like Brandon, University, Valrico, and Lutz.
Remember that the tax rate is applied to your assessed value which may be lower than your market value. If your home is your primary residence, the homestead exemption and Save Our Homes benefit can be used to reduce your assessed value and limit future increases in your assessment. However, this homestead exemption is removed when ownership changes. Keep this in mind when you buy a house in Tampa because your tax bill may be much higher than the previous owner was paying. Do not use Hillsborough County tax records and historic tax bills as an indicator on how much you will pay.
Hillsborough County ranks as the 9th highest property taxes by county in Florida by average millage rates, but 22nd by per capita total property taxes.
Here is an example of how to estimate your property tax in Tampa FL. Keep in mind the median home value in Hillsborough County is $350,000 or $339,000 in Tampa.
- A home is assessed at $350,000 with the homestead exemption applied.
- $25,000 would be exempt from all property taxes with a taxable value of $325,000.
- The full property tax rate of 19.7121 per $1,000 would be applied to $300,000 of taxable value for a total tax of $5,913.63.
- Only the school tax rate of 5.8490 per $1,000 would be applied to $25,000 of assessed value for a total tax of $146.23.
This would result in a tax bill of $6,059.86 not counting non-ad valorem taxes.
Home prices in the county are up 25% year-over-year which is causing Hillsborough County property taxes to skyrocket. Hillsborough, Pinellas, and Pasco counties in Tampa Bay are projected to collect $4.9 billion in taxes for 2021, the highest amount in history. Homeowners who are residents of the county enjoy protection against skyrocketing assessments through the Save Our Homes benefit, but new homeowners will experience sticker shock when property bills arrive that may be double or even triple the bills paid by the former owners.
In addition to these ad valorem taxes, which are based on the assessed value of your property, your Hillsborough County tax bill also includes non-ad valorem assessments. This includes county assessments like stormwater management, reclaimed water, and county street lighting; the City of Tampa Downtown Improvement assessment; the Tampa Palms special assessment; and neighborhood assessments.
You can use this Hillsborough County property tax calculator and estimator tool to get an idea of how much you will pay in Tampa property taxes.
How to Pay Your Hillsborough County Tax Bill – Due Dates & Payment Options
What are the Hillsborough County property tax due dates? Your taxes are payable from November 1 through March 31 of the following year according to Florida Statute 197.122. Your taxes are due in full by March 31 of the following year.
You can receive an early payment discount if you make your Hillsborough County property tax payment by the following months:
- 4% discount if paid in November
- 3% discount if paid in December
- 2% discount if paid in January
- 1% discount if paid in February
- No discount for property tax payments in March
Your Hillsborough property tax becomes delinquent on April 1. Delinquent taxes are charged 3% interest and subject to advertising costs.
Options to Pay Your Hillsborough County Property Tax Bill
You have several ways to pay your Hillsborough County property tax.
The easiest option is to pay Hillsborough County property taxes online. Note that only full payments are accepted online, not partial payments. There are no fees for e-check payments but a 2.35% convenience fee is charged for credit card payments.
The Hillstax.org property tax portal can be used to make online payments. Click here and select “Pay Online.” You will need to use the Hillsborough County tax records search to find your tax bill. You can search by address, account number, parcel number, or name.
Payments are also accepted in person at any Hillsborough County tax collector offices. Most branches have drop boxes as well. If using the drop box, make sure you include your account number, property address, or a copy of your tax bill with a check or money order, not cash.
You can mail your property tax payment to:
Nancy C. Millan, Tax Collector
P.O. Box 30012
Tampa, Florida 33630-3012
Checks or money orders should be made payable to: Nancy C. Millan, Tax Collector
Hillsborough County Property Tax Payment Plans
An installment plan is available that makes it easier to pay your property taxes. You must apply for installment payments before May 1 of the tax year for which you are applying. If you qualify, you will pay your tax bill in four installments over the course of the year with discounts on your total tax bill.
Here is the payment schedule:
- 1st quarter payment due June 30 (6% discount)
- 2nd quarter payment due September 30 (4.5% discount)
- 3rd quarter payment due December 31 (3% discount)
- 4th quarter payment due March 31 (no discount)
The first two payments are a quarter of the previous year’s gross tax. The final two payments also include one-half of any adjustments to current taxes.
If you fail to make your first payment in June, you can make the payment in July but lose the 6% discount. If the first installment isn’t made by July 31, you will be removed from the installment plan. Any amount still unpaid by April 1 will be delinquent.
Click here to apply for the installment plan for your Hillsborough County property tax bill.
Partial payments are also accepted from November 1 to March 31 for current year taxes. Delinquent taxes are not eligible for partial payments and must be paid in full.
Under Florida Statute 197.162, partial payments are not eligible for discounts. You can only pay Hillsborough County property taxes online when you make a full payment; partial payments are not accepted online.
Hillsborough County Property Tax Exemptions
You can receive a property tax exemption on your primary residence through the Florida homestead exemption. You can exempt up to $50,000 (with an additional $25,000 that does not apply to school district taxes) from the taxable value of your primary residence.
Here is how the homestead exemption works:
- The first $25,000 of assessed value is completely exempt from property taxes
- The next $25,000 of assessed value is fully taxable
- The next $25,000 of assessed value is only exempt from non-school taxes (This $25,000 exemption only applies to assessed value between $50,000 and $75,000)
- Any additional assessed value is fully taxable
The homestead exemption also offers some protection against assessment increases through the Save Our Homes benefit. This amendment limits the increase in your home’s assessed value to no more than 3% or the Consumer Price Index (CPI), whichever is lower.
You must apply for the Homestead Exemption through the Hillsborough County Property Appraiser. Note that you will need to show proof of Florida residency and you must have established a legal domicile in Hillsborough County.
If you claim the Florida homestead exemption, you may be eligible to defer a portion of your property taxes based on your household income during the previous year. Homeowners with household income less than $10,000 can completely defer their property taxes. Deferred property taxes become a first lien on the property and require the homeowner to maintain fire insurance coverage payable to the Hillsborough County FL Tax Collector.
A change in ownership or failure to maintain insurance makes all deferred property taxes plus interest immediately due.
You can apply for the homestead tax deferral online or at the Hillsborough County Tax Collector’s office. Your application must be submitted by March 31.
Other Property Tax Exemptions
You may be eligible for other exemptions that reduce your Hillsborough property tax bill.
Low-income seniors who are 65 and older may be eligible for a high-value tax exemption. The Hillsborough County property tax exemption for seniors is available in Tampa, Temple Terrace, and unincorporated Hillsborough County, but not available in Plant City. The exemption is up to $50,000 except in Temple Terrace where it is up to $25,000. Seniors must meet income guidelines.
Seniors who qualify for the Low Income Senior exemption and the Homestead exemption can also qualify for the Long Term Residency Senior Citizen exemption. Your property must have a Just Value below $250,000 and you must have maintained it as your home for 25 consecutive years. This exemption is only available in Tampa and unincorporated areas of the county.
Additional exemptions include:
- $500 Widow/Widower exemption
- $500 Personal Disability exemption
- $500 Blind Person exemption
- Total and Permanent Disability exemption
Military/veteran exemptions for disabled veterans, service-connected total and permanent disability, surviving spouses, disabled senior veterans, and deployed activity duty military members
Property Tax Appeals in Hillsborough County, FL
It’s important to review your annual TRIM notice to make sure you agree with your property’s assessed value. Hillsborough County appraisals can’t increase beyond 3% or the CPI if you have a homestead exemption, and your property value should not be higher than its fair market value.
If you disagree with your assessment, you have the right to request a review. This tax appeal process begins with the Property Appraiser’s Office. This can be done by:
- Visiting the Hillsborough County Property Appraiser’s office
- Submitting a review request by mail or tax
- Submitting an online Property Value Review Request.
Your appraisal will be reviewed by someone with the Property Appraiser’s Office and you will be given an explanation for how your property’s value was determined. If you do not agree with this review, you can petition the Value Adjustment Board. A hearing with the VAB can be scheduled by filing a petition.
Hillsborough County Property Tax FAQ
What is the Hillsborough County property tax rate?
The Hillsborough County FL property tax rate is $5.7913 per $1,000 of assessed value. In unincorporated areas, the total millage is 17.9049 per $1,000 of assessed value. The total millage is 18.1619 in Plant City, 19.5012 in Temple Terrace, and 19.7121 in Tampa. By comparison, the average millage rate for property taxes in Florida is 17.2718.
What is the Tampa property tax rate?
The Tampa FL property tax rate is $19.7121 per $1,000 of assessed value.
How much are property taxes in Florida?
Florida real estate taxes have an average rate of $17.2718 per $1,000 of assessed value. Homes are assessed at fair market value, but your taxable value can by reduced by exemptions including the homestead exemption and low income senior exemption.
Are Florida property taxes paid in arrears?
Yes, Florida real estate taxes are paid in arrears. This means 2021 property taxes are paid starting November 2021 and due March 31, 2022.
When are property taxes due in Hillsborough County?
Property taxes are payable from November 1 to March 31. Your Hillsborough County tax bill becomes delinquent if not paid in full by April 1.
Hopefully you now feel more confident about understanding your Hillsborough County, FL property tax bill or estimating how much property taxes are when buying a house. While our dedicated Tampa Bay movers can’t help with tax advice, we are ready to make your transition into your new home as easy as possible. Give us a call at 2 College Brothers to get started with a free, personalized moving estimate!