Property taxes in Ocala, as in the rest of Florida, are pretty confusing. A lot has to do with the Save Our Homes initiative, also know in real estate as amendment 10. Save Our Homes was supposed to keep seniors from getting taxed out of their homes by capping tax increases on homestead properties by 3% or the rate of inflation, which ever is lower.
The problem with amendment 1o is that you can buy the exact same house as the guy across the street, who has been there for 10 years, and pay twice the taxes that he does. Another example of politicians helping one group at the expense of another.
Now that property values have dropped like a stone here in Florida a new issue has come up with Save Our Homes. This is called the recapture rule. The recapture rule states that tax assessors must increase the assessed value of a house by up to 3% as long as that it is less than the homes market value. This is why most peoples taxes are not going down even though their homes value has gone down.
Now here’s some home work. Below are 2 great links. One is to the Marion County property appraiser. Read the FAQ and check out the tax estimator. If you live in Florida read the portability calculator because you can bring your Save Our Home exemption with you to a new house. The other link is to an article from the Ocala Star Banner which has a detailed explanation about why taxes aren’t going down.
Marion County Property Appraiser
Ocala Star Banner
If you buy a foreclosure or short sale in the Ocala area it is important to understand that you will be assessed at market value and not the amount you paid for your house.
Finally, when you see the taxes on a real estate listing be aware that it is not the amount that you will be paying. Taxes adjust every time a house is sold.