It is the
constitutional duty of the Office of Property Appraiser to appraiser for
ad valorem tax purposes all property in Columbia County, including real,
and personal property.
Unlike many states
where the Tax Assessor and Taxing Authorities work together, Florida's
Constitution provides a clear separation between the appraisal of property and
the Authorities responsible for setting a Millage Rate to raise revenue.
It is the duty of the
Property Appraiser to administer all exemptions. Ad Valorem Tax exemptions
allowed under statute includes governmental, religious, charitable, educational,
scientific, and literary. There is a homestead exemption for every
Florida resident who has legal or equitable title to real property in the State
of Florida and who resides thereon and in good faith makes it his or her
permanent home. First time applicants are required to furnish their social
security number, and should have available evidence of ownership i.e., deed,
contract, etc. If title is held by the husband alone, a wife may file for him,
with his consent, and vice versa. If filing for the first time, be prepared to
answer these and other questions:
1. In whose name or
names was the title to the dwelling recorded as of January 1st?
2. What is
the street address of the property?
3. Are you a legal resident of the State
of Florida? (A Certificate of Domicile or voter's Registration will be proof if
dated prior to January 1st.)
4. Do you have a Florida license plate on your
car and a Florida driver's license?
you living in the dwelling, which is being claimed for homestead
exemption on January 1st?
There are additional
exemptions for widows, widowers, the disabled and the blind. Any honorably
discharged veteran with a service connected total and permanent disability,
surviving spouses of qualifying veterans and spouses of the United States Armed
Forces are entitled to exemption on real estate used and owned as a homestead
less any portion thereof used for commercial purposes.
The application for all exemptions must be made between January 1 and March 1 of the tax years.
Initial application should be made in person at the Property Appraiser's office.
Lands used for
bona-fide agricultural purposes may be classified as agricultural on the tax
roll, which results in a significant reduction from nonagricultural appraised
values. Agricultural classification must be applied for and determined annually
as required by Florida Statutes. In addition, we keep deed transfers current,
maintain maps outlining these boundaries, measure all construction and
components of improved parcels and grant exemptions where appropriate.
Appraiser is supervised by the Florida Department of Revenue, with the Property
Appraiser being elected every four years by the citizens of Columbia County.
Your appraiser does
not determine the amount of taxes you pay. The rate is determined by your taxing
authorities. These include your County Commission, School Board, City Commission.