It is the constitutional duty of the Office of Property Appraiser to appraise for ad valorem tax purposes all property in DeSoto 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 $25,000 homestead exemption for every Florida resident who has legal or equitable title to real property in the State of Florida 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:
There is additionally a $500 exemption 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.
- In whose name or names was the title to the dwelling recorded as of January 1st?
- What is the street address of the property?
- 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.)
- Do you have a Florida license plate on your car and a Florida driver's license?
- Were you living in the dwelling, which is being claimed for homestead exemption on January 1st?
The application for all exemptions must be made between January 1 and March 1 of the tax years. However, at the option of the property appraiser. Initial application should be made in person at the Property Appraiser's office. Failure to make application by March 1 of the tax year shall constitute a waiver of the exemption privilege for that year.
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. We are also producing GIS (Geographic Information Systems) base maps and currently working on 911 addressing which will provide improved safety to life and property.
The Property Appraiser is supervised by the Florida Department of Revenue, with the Property Appraiser being elected every four years by the citizens of DeSoto 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.