Announcements:

EASILY OBTAIN YOUR CURRENT GRANT DEED AND PROPERTY INFORMATION


Recently a letter from Record Transfer Services was sent to a number of Polk County Residents explaining the need for homeowners to have a copy of their Current Grant Deed and Property Assessment Profile. The letter states that copies of these documents can be obtained through Record Transfer Services for a fee that exceeds the cost necessary for you to obtain the information yourself. (SAMPLE LETTER)

The Polk County Property Appraiser's office wants you to know that these documents can be obtained online for little or no cost to you.


If you have any questions, please contact the Clerk of the Courts or the Property Appraiser's Office.

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Are You Eligible for the Polk County Active Military Combat Duty Grant?


Did you know that Polk County Veterans Services offers an Active Military Combat Duty grant of up to $1,500.00?

Eligible military members should complete the application and attach the required documentation. The application and attachments should be sent to Polk County Veteran Services, 1290 Golfview Avenue, PO Box 9005, Bartow FL 33831-9005.

Eligibility:
  1. In the last four years, did you serve in the United States Military in a designated combat zone; see Polk County Ordinance No 07-011 for designated combat zones?
    OR
    Are you the widow of a Veteran or member of the Military that served in a designated combat zone in the past four years and have not remarried?
  2. At the time of service, was your primary residence in Polk County?
  3. Did you have a valid Homestead Exemption for that property?

Documentation:
  1. A certified copy of combat duty orders and proof of combat service in any particular year or years covered by Polk County Ordinance No 07-011.
  2. A copy of your Polk County Tax Payment Receipt for the appropriate year.
  3. Proof of Homestead Exemption for the appropriate year.


The Polk County Property Appraiser's office does not oversee this grant and is providing this information as a courtesy to our veterans.
If you have additional questions, please visit the Polk County Veterans Services webpage or call (863)534-5220.

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Notice of Certification of Tax Rolls


Pursuant to section 193.122(2), Florida Statutes (2014), notice is hereby given to all taxpayers and owners of both real and personal property that the 2014 Polk County Tax Rolls have been extended to show the tax attributable to all taxable property and that said tax rolls are certified for collection to the Tax Collector as of the certification date listed below.

The tax roll certification date is October 13, 2014.

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WARNING -- REVIEW YOUR EXEMPTION STATUS


THE STATE OF FLORIDA HAS SEVERE PENALTIES FOR RECEIVING A HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION YOU ARE NOT ENTITLED TO.  UNQUALIFIED EXEMPTIONS WILL RESULT IN A 50% PENALTY OF UNPAID TAXES AND 15% INTEREST FOR UP TO 10 YEARS.

IF ANY OF THE FOLLOWING UNREPORTED SITUATIONS APPLIES TO YOU, CONTACT OUR EXEMPTIONS DEPARTMENT (863) 534-4777 IMMEDIATELY:

  • You have moved from your homestead property.
  • The homestead property owner is deceased.
  • You are renting your homestead property.
  • You and your spouse own separate properties and both are receiving homestead exemption.
  • You and your spouse own a second home in or out of state and both are receiving homestead exemptions or residency tax credit.
  • You have remarried but are receiving a widow/widower exemption.

 If you are unsure of your exemptions, contact our office.

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File Homestead and Other Property Tax Exemptions Online

In keeping with our goal of providing more efficient service, you can now file Homestead, Senior, and other Exemptions ONLINE.

The deadline to file is March 1st.

Please view the Help Files for online filing instructions. Click here for more information about property tax exemptions.



Exemptions you may apply for online:
  • Homestead Exemption
  • Senior Exemption (Age 65 and older)
  • Widow/Widower Exemptions
  • Disability Exemptions
  • Disabled Veteran Exemptions

In order to complete the process, you will need the following information for each person applying:

Required to file an exemption online
  • Florida Driver License or Florida Identification Card
  • Social Security Number

Requested to establish residency
  • Florida Vehicle Registration
  • Florida Voter Registration Card
  • Permanent Resident Card (for any applicant who is not a US Citizen)

If you DO NOT wish to file online, please visit one of our three offices and bring these documents with you to apply:
  • Florida Driver License*
  • Florida Vehicle registration*
  • Voter registration*
  • Social Security Number
  • Local Employment
  • School Name of Dependent Children (if applicable)
  • Bank Statement mailing address
  • Proof of Payment of Utilities

* Requires the Applicant's current address

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Exemption & Agricultural Classification Renewal Receipts


Homestead, other exemptions, and Agricultural Classification (greenbelt) receipt cards will not be mailed in order to save taxpayer’s dollars. These exemptions/classifications will be automatically renewed. To obtain verification of your exemption or classification, you may print a property record card (PIC report) from our web site.

How do I print a Property Record Card for my property?

  1. Click the property search tab image of property search tab at the top of this page.
  2. Type in the owner name and click search records.
  3. You will receive a list of properties matching your search criteria. Select the pdf icon image of pdf at the end of the row that is your property.

    Note:   Clicking the parcel id field of the row will load the parcel detail page. The Property Record Card can also be printed from this page by clicking the pdf icon image of pdf icon on the top right of the detail page.

Where is my exemption shown on the Property Record Card?
  1. Personal exemptions are listed in the section titled Exemption Information.
  2. Agricultural classifications are listed in the section titled Land Information. The rows that contain a Y in the Ag/GreenBelt column have the Ag classification.

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Senior Exemption and Renewal


FIRST TIME APPLICANTS: If applying for a Senior Exemption for the first time, please review these frequently asked questions: Senior Exemptions.

RENEWALS: For the 2014 tax year, the allowable total household adjusted gross income received during 2013 should not exceed $27,994.
If your total household adjusted gross income exceeds the $27,994 limit, YOU MUST NOTIFY THIS OFFICE. Receiving no notification from the qualified senior will be considered a sworn statement, under penalty of perjury, that the income does not exceed the limit. Improperly claiming any exemption could result in a lien against your property.

You can apply for this exemption online through our online exemption application.


If you do not want to file online you can fill out an application, found here, and return it to our office.

If you would like to receive a notice of renewal electronically, please fill out our Electronic Consent form and email it to our office at paoffice@polk-county.net.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Life Changes That Affect Your Homestead Exemption

Homestead exemption is an important benefit that offers a Florida resident the opportunity to save up to hundreds of dollars on their property tax bill. The homestead exemption provides savings every year you own and reside in your home. It is your responsibility as a property owner to file an application for a new exemption and to let the Property Appraiser know if you change the property's use or if the property owner experiences a life change. Please see the FAQ for questions and answers regarding life changes that affect your homestead exemption.

File your Tangible Personal Property (TPP) Tax Return ONLINE


In keeping with our goal of providing more efficient service, you can now file your Tangible Return ONLINE.  The deadline to file is April 1.
 

Please view the Help Video for online filing instructions.



Note:  File a return if you are operating a business or rental property and have not filed a tangible return in the past.  In order to receive the $25,000 exemption, you must file an initial return listing all tangible assets.  You do not need to file if you filed in a prior year with total tangible assets valued at less than $25,000 and the current value remains less than $25,000.  To verify if you have the exemption, please go to the Property Search tab and search under Tangible Business Accounts.  Under Value Summary you will see the exemption amount.  If the exemption value is $0 you need to file.


Response to Questions related to the DOR Review

In response to local media coverage regarding Polk County’s Agricultural (AG) Classification process, the Department of Revenue (DOR) sent a letter to Marsha Faux indicating that they might contact her for additional information. Ms. Faux requested that the Director of Property Tax Oversight authorize an immediate in-depth audit of the parcels in question to ensure her determinations are consistent with Florida Statute 193.461, which outlines the requirements for AG Classifications.

In September of this year, the DOR assigned George Wheeler to evaluate internal office policies related to AG Classification. Mr. Wheeler’s initial site visit notes clearly state that every property he inspected was currently being used for Agricultural purposes.

On December 17, 2010, the Department of Revenue released its Preliminary Review of Polk County’s Agricultural (AG) Classification Process based on Mr. Wheeler’s findings.

Scope of Review

The preliminary review of Polk County’s AG Classification process included the following:

  1. Polk County specific procedures for evaluating AG applications
  2. A detailed review of properties granted AG Classification in residential subdivisions

A preliminary legal analysis of court decisions dealing with AG Classifications was also conducted.

DOR Recommendation

The DOR made the following three recommendations:

Parcel Identification

What has been reported in the Ledger: “The department's review also said the identification of individual parcels in the subdivisions that received the agricultural classification was "inconsistent with published procedures" and should be corrected before the 2011 tax roll is published. “

What this actually means: The DOR recommended that we change the way we identify these properties. Rather than combine the value of all lots with the same owner on one parcel, they asked that each individual parcel have its own AG Classification and value information. This is a simple adjustment to our records.

Procedural Review

What has been reported in the Ledger: “…Marsha Faux should fix her procedures for granting agricultural classifications and submit them for state review…”

What the DOR requested: The Department requested that the Property Appraiser review and fully document the Ag Classification procedures including any needed improvements, and submit them to the DOR. This documentation will more clearly define how and why we grant AG classifications.

Physical Inspection

What has been reported in the Ledger: “They concluded that Faux’s office needs to do a better job of documenting these decisions. “

What the DOR recommends: The DOR recommended that the Property Appraiser conduct a complete review of the AG Classifications in question including a physical inspection of each lot if one had not already been conducted. It is standard office procedure to annually perform a physical inspection of all AG properties, and all of the properties in question have been inspected.

The Bottom Line

In the review requested by Marsha Faux, the Department of Revenue did not find that the AG properties in question were incorrectly classified.

The 2010 Polk County Tax Roll was approved and certified by the DOR as submitted.

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Citrus Health Response Program (CHRP) Assessment Policy
For Polk County Abandoned Grove Initiative


The Citrus Health Response Program (CHRP) is the successor program to the Citrus Canker Eradication Program (CCEP).

The purpose of the program is to manage the impact of citrus canker and citrus greening in commercial citrus groves. To accomplish that purpose, this program declares citrus canker, citrus greening, and the Asian citrus psyllid to be plant pest and nuisances. The program also sets forth procedures for establishing quarantine areas, identifying regulated articles, decontaminating regulated articles, and regulating the movement of citrus nursery stock from areas quarantined for citrus greening. (Rule: 5B-63.001 F.A.C.)

Please provide our office with the following required documentation no later than March 1:
  • CHRP Abandoned Grove Compliance Agreement effective as of January 1of applicable year.
  • Site Report which is provided to owner thru the CHRP office as of January 1of applicable year.
  • If property is not currently receiving the greenbelt classification an application should be submitted prior to March 1.

Agricultural Classification

Properties currently receiving the agricultural benefit will not have to file a new application however parcels not under the greenbelt classification will be required to file an application with our office prior the statutory date of March 1. Statute 193.461 (3) (a)

Abandoned Grove Compliance Agreement

An Abandoned Grove Compliance Agreement which has been approved and dated prior to January 1 of the applicable year must be submitted to our office no later than March 1 in order to receive the CHRP Abandoned Grove assessment for that tax year.

The landowner must maintain compliance under the Abandoned Grove Compliance Agreement. When the Abandoned Grove Compliance Agreement has expired the property will be assessed according to use.

Use Change

If the Abandoned Grove Compliance Agreement is dated after January 1, an assessment of $50.00 an acre (per Florida Statue 193.461(7)) will go into effect for the following tax year. If after the first year of receiving the CHRP Abandoned Grove assessment, a different agricultural operation is put in place, the assessment will change accordingly. Any non-agricultural use will be assessed at full market value as of the statutory date of January 1.

If the agricultural operation is changed within the tax year prior to receiving the CHRP Abandoned Grove assessment, the following tax year will be assessed at $50.00 an acre. The subsequent tax year will be assessed according to use.

If a non - agricultural operation is put in place within the tax year prior to receiving the CHRP Abandoned Grove assessment, the property will not qualify for the CHRP Abandoned Grove assessment and will be assessed at full market value.

Sale or Transfer of Property

If property is sold or transferred while an Abandoned Grove Compliance Agreement is active, it is the responsibility of the new owner to file a new agricultural application. An Abandoned Grove Compliance Agreement whether transferred or newly established must be submitted along with the new agricultural application in order to continue with the CHRP Abandoned Grove assessment.


Citrus Health Response Program


General and Contact Information:


http://www.freshfromflorida.com/Divisions-Offices/Plant-Industry/Bureaus-and-Services/Office-Locations/Citrus-Health-Program-Offices


Compliance Procedure:


The Local CHRP Office Procedures for Abandoned Grove Compliance Agreement are:
  • Grower contacts Local CHRP office and provides Abandoned Grove property information (Location, Tax ID Etc.).
  • Local CHRP office visits grove to verify it is Abandoned.
  • Grower kills or pushes the grove.
  • Local CHRP office visits grove to certify it is pushed or killed.
  • Grower Signs AGCA.
  • Grower takes one copy of Signed AGCA to Property Appraiser and one to Local CHRP Office.

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Conservation Easements/Land Exemptions


The 2009 Legislature enacted legislation creating an exemption for real property dedicated in perpetuity for conservation purposes and an assessment reduction for lands that are subject to a conservation easement, environmentally endangered, or land used for outdoor recreational or park purposes. To qualify for either an exemption or assessment reduction, property owners must file an application with the Property Appraiser.

Conservation Exemption:  Newly created, section 196.26, Florida Statutes, outlining the definitions and requirements for owners to apply for an exemption for real property dedicated in perpetuity for conservation purposes.   Form DR-418C was drafted for applicants whose property meets the requirements for a conservation exemption. 

Requirements for Exemption:
  • Must comprise at least 40 contiguous acres
  • If less than 40 contiguous acres, the land can qualify if it meets the other requirements in this statute and the use of the land for conservation purposes is determined by the Acquisition and Restoration Council created in Section 259.035, , F.S. to meet a clearly delineated state conservation policy, if it yields a significant public benefit, and it must have a management plan and a designated manager responsible for implementing the plan.

Conservation Easement Reassessment: The Legislature also amended section 193.501, F.S., requiring an application to be filed with the property appraiser for property to be assessed at a reduced value if used for conservation. Form DR-482C was drafted for applicants whose property meets the requirements. Form DR-482CR, Land Used for Conservation Purposes Assessment Reapplication, is a short form to annually reapply for the assessment reduction. Please note that this is not an exemption, but a reduction in the land assessment.

Requirements for Reassessment:
  • Must provide instrument which conveys the development right or establishes a covenant for the conservation purposes of the land for 10 years or more.
The owner must also specify which of the following apply to the property:
  • Meet the requirements of a conservation easement in section 704.06, F.S.
  • Designation as environmentally endangered by resolution of the municipality or county as described in 193.501(6)(i), F.S.
  • Designated as conservation land in an adopted local comprehensive plan
  • Used for outdoor recreational or park purposes as described in section 193.501(6)(g), F.S.

The forms are posted at http://dor.myflorida.com/dor/forms/

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Avon Park Air Force Range Training Notification


Polk County is home to the Avon Park Air Force Range, a training facility for all branches of the military, police, and national security agencies. Properties that may be affected by these training activities will have a notation on the parcel detail.

Click here for more information.

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PGTV Polk Place - Polk County Property Appraiser


The Polk County Property Appraiser, Marsha Faux, was recently interviewed on PGTV's Polk Place. The interview covered a range of topics including a brief history of the Polk County Property Appraiser's background and a number of the resources and tools available to Polk County residents through the Property Appraiser's website.

Watch the entire interview below.



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Property Tax Information from the Florida Department of Revenue

Section 195.052, Florida Statutes, as amended by the 2008 Florida Legislature (Chapter 2008-197, Laws of Florida) requires that the Department of Revenue and all county property appraisers publish certain county and municipal property tax information on their web site.

This law requires the Florida Department of Revenue to publish on its web sites certain non-voted property tax information for all county and municipal governments in Florida. The link below will take you to the Polk County information on the DOR's web site. 

http://dor.myflorida.com/dor/property/resources/data.html


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Important Dates


Web site date
Thursday, August 14, 2014

Mail out date
Monday, August 18, 2014

File a petition deadline
Friday, September 12, 2014

Missed the deadline and can show good cause? File a GOOD CAUSE PETITION.
2014 Filing Period
3/2/2013 - 3/3/2014

You may file in person or online.
2014 Filing Period
3/2/2013 - 3/3/2014

TPP Tax Return Deadline
4/1/2014

Extension Request Deadline
3/26/2014

Thanksgiving
11/27/2014 - 11/28/2014

Christmas
12/25/2014 - 12/26/2014

New Year's Day
1/1/2015

Martin Luther King Jr. Day
1/19/2015

Memorial Day
5/25/2015

Independence Day
7/3/2015

Labor Day
9/7/2015