New Tax Estimator Hits the CCPA Website….

Posted on April 01, 2024 in: General News

New Tax Estimator Hits the CCPA Website….

It has been one of my primary goals over the last few years to help clarify a lot of misunderstandings related to our office and our obligations to the community.  We play an important role in our community and I don’t want anyone to misunderstand or be confused on what we do. 

If you have read my articles before or visited one of my presentations you will probably already know what I am about to say.  It is not the job of the Citrus County Property Appraiser’s Office to raise or lower taxes. That is the job and responsibility of the seven taxing authorities: commissioners, school board, city councils, and others.  By law, the property appraiser's office must appraise property at full market value.  Placing values on all properties in our county is one of our primary functions.  The amount of tax owed is then determined by the millage set by the respective taxing authorities. This fact alone is what separates us from each other. 

We do however want our property owners to be fully aware of what their potential property taxes might be when purchasing a home or piece of land. So, what have we done to help with that? When I took office three years ago, we added a “Buyer Beware!” statement to every parcel’s information page on our website which reads, “Property taxes may be affected with change in ownership. When buying real estate property, you should not assume that property taxes will remain the same. Whenever there is a change in ownership, the assessed value of the property may reset to full market value, which could result in higher property taxes. Please use our tax estimator to approximate your new property taxes. Homestead exemptions and agricultural classifications are not transferable to the new owner. You must apply for your own exemptions and agricultural classifications.

Next, we took it a step further and simplified our tax and portability estimator. We changed it to say “Property Sale Price or Value” rather than previously it stated market value. Also including the “with or without portability” section. Unfortunately, even after both of those changes, we still get the statements of “why did you increase my property taxes?”.  

So, my team and I went back to work.  What else can we do to better inform our residents about potential property tax increases? One issue we have is that when someone is looking at a property on Zillow,, or a similar site is it references price and tax history. Many people look at that information and if those amounts appear to be in their budget they don’t go any further with doing their homework.  This is not quality nor accurate information for our new property owners.  This also doesn’t help the staff in our office who has to field the emotional questions that come a year later. 

What can we do to help resolve this dilemma for our new property owners and our staff? We recently added another feature on our parcel information page called “Tax estimate upon sale of the property (no assessment capping or exemptions)”. We are really excited about this feature because it will show the viewer what the market value, millage rate, and tax estimate would be if a sale had taken place today. Those amounts shown are based on the previous year’s millage and value information.

When reviewing this new section, which is directly underneath our current value history and tax amount, you can see what the current owners’ values, exemption amounts and tax estimates are. Then below it is the new feature reflecting the changes.  We hope that this will clear up any confusion. Remember, if you apply for homestead exemption or have portability (HX savings cap) amounts to transfer than that tax estimate would change.

So how do we value a property anyways? To find the value of your property, we must first know which properties have recently sold and how much they are selling for in today's market. That is why we maintain an accurate database of real estate information. Each transaction must be studied to make sure it was an arms-length transaction, meaning that a willing seller sold to a willing buyer without any undue pressure or special incentives (such as family relationships), and that the property was on the market for neither an excessive nor a short period of time. Once this is determined, we can base the value of a property from other sales of comparable properties. This is the sales comparison approach to valuation.

One thing to keep in mind, if you have a mortgage and property taxes paid are in escrow, the mortgage company will be estimating your taxes in your monthly mortgage based on the previous owners’ tax bill from the prior year. This is not what your tax bill will be when your homestead exemption takes effect. There will most likely be a large increase in tax amount for your upcoming year mortgage.  We simply don’t want you to be caught off guard. 

Trust me, I know this is a lot to take in so I want to personally invite you to attend one of our citizen training sessions.  If you are interested in attending one of these sessions, please reach out to Meghan Maguire at for more information.  During these sessions we can answer any questions or concerns you may have about our office.  Who knows, you might even learn something new and connect with some other residents in our county.   If you have any questions, please give our office a call at (352) 341-6600.

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