Announcements:

2015 DOR Use Code Changes


The Department of Revenue has revised DOR Land Use Code 80 from “Undefined-Reserved for Future Use” to “Vacant Governmental” and activated DOR Use Code 09XX for Residential Common Elements / Areas. As a result, the Property Appraiser’s office has made the following changes to the DOR Use Codes:

DOR Use Code Change for Vacant Governmental Properties

DOR Use Code Change                              New DOR Use Code and Description
  • DOR USE Code 7081 has been changed to   8081   Vacant Military - vac land or misc impr of some value
  • DOR USE Code 7082 has been changed to   8082   Vacant Forest, Parks - vac land or misc impr of some value
  • DOR USE Code 7083 has been changed to   8083   Vacant Public County Schools - vac land or impr of some value
  • DOR USE Code 7084 has been changed to   8084   Vacant Colleges - vac land or misc impr of some value
  • DOR USE Code 7085 has been changed to   8085   Vacant Hospitals - vac land or misc impr of some value
  • DOR USE Code 7086 has been changed to   8086   Vacant County - vac land or misc impr of some value
  • DOR USE Code 7087 has been changed to   8087   Vacant State - vac land or misc impr of some value
  • DOR USE Code 7088 has been changed to   8088   Vacant Federal - vac land or misc impr of some value
  • DOR USE Code 7089 has been changed to   8089   Vacant Municipal - vac land or misc impr of some value
NOTE: All 708X codes will be removed.

DOR Use Code Change for Residential Common Elements


  1. Creation of New DOR Use Codes

    a. 0900 Vac. Residential Common Elements/Areas
    b. 0901 Imp. Residential Common Elements/Areas
    c. 1040 Commercial Common Elements/Areas
    d. 4040 Industrial Common Elements/Areas

  2. All parcels currently coded as 7040 (Vacant HOA Appurtenant Common Elements) and 7060 (Vacant Condo Common Elements - vac land or misc impr of some value) will be migrated to one of the new DOR Codes and codes 7040 and 7060 will be removed.

Click here for the DOR FAQ on the activation of Use Code 009

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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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REMINDERS FOR PROPERTY OWNERS


FILE HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION AND OTHER PROPERTY TAX EXEMPTIONS ONLINE

Marsha Faux, Polk County Property Appraiser, urges new homeowners to file for Homestead Exemption for the 2016 tax year. The deadline to file is March 1st.

Online filing is available for Homestead, Senior (Age 65 and older), Widow/Widower, Disability, and Disabled Veteran Exemptions.

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

NEW LONG-TERM RESIDENT SENIOR EXEMPTION

The BOCC has adopted Amendment 11 that provides an additional property tax exemption for persons 65 and older who have lived in their home for at least 25 years and meet the income limit for this exemption. Click here and navigate to the bottom of the page for the current Senior Homestead Exemption income limit.

For additional information about the new long-term resident senior exemption, click here.

INCREASE FOR CITY OF LAKELAND SENIOR EXEMPTION

If you currently have a Senior Exemption and live in the City of Lakeland, your maximum senior exemption amount will be automatically increased from $25,000 to $50,000. If you have not applied before, click here to see if you qualify for a senior exemption.



AGRICULTURAL CLASSIFICATION

2016 Agricultural Classification applications are currently being accepted by the Property Appraiser's Office. The deadline to file is March 1st.  

The Agricultural Classification guidelines and application is available for download via our website click the link below to access the PDF document.



TANGIBLE PERSONAL PROPERTY

If you own, operate, or have started a business in Polk County. Florida Statute 193.052 requires that all Tangible Personal Property be reported each year to the Property Appraiser's Office. The deadline to file is April 1st. If you do not file a return or extension by the deadline, you will not qualify for the $25,000 Tangible Personal Property Exemption.



NOTE: 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 or your exemption or classification, you may print a property record car (PIC report) from our website.

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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


Preliminary Tax Roll

Pursuant to section 200.065(1) F.S. and 129.03(1) F.S., notice is hereby given that the Polk County Property Appraiser has certified to each taxing authority the taxable value within the jurisdiction of the taxing authority as of the certification date listed below.

Preliminary tax roll certification date is July 1, 2014.


Value Adjustment Board (VAB) Certifications


VAB 1st CERTIFICATION (FINAL TAX ROLL)

Pursuant to section 193.122(2), F.S., 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 7, 2014.

VAB 2nd CERTIFICATION (VAB FINAL TAX ROLL)

Pursuant to section 193.122(3), F.S., 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 and reflect all changes made by the value adjustment board together with any adjustments or changes made by the Property Appraiser and that said tax rolls have been recertified to the Tax Collector as of the recertification date listed below.

The tax roll recertification date is March 23, 2015.

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Property Tax and Budget Information (Statewide and Local)


Pursuant to section 195.052 F.S. the Florida Department of Revenue (DOR) shall conduct research and maintain accurate tabulations of data and conditions existing as to ad valorem taxation for all county and municipal governments in the state. This law also requires the DOR to annually publish such data to facilitate fiscal policymaking and to make recommendations to ensure property is equitably taxed throughout the state.

Such data shall be published, at a minimum, on the DOR website and on the websites of all Property Appraisers. The links below provide access to budget information and statewide / local property tax data.

DOR County and Municipal Property Tax Data
DOR Florida Property Tax Data Portal
Polk County Property Tax Overview
Polk County Property Tax Information
Polk County Proposed Millage Rates
Polk County Tax Roll and Budget Documents

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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 2015 tax year, the allowable total household adjusted gross income received during 2014 should not exceed $28,448.
If your total household adjusted gross income exceeds the $28,448 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.

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

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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.

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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Important Dates


Web site date
Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Mail out date
Monday, August 17, 2015

File a petition deadline
Friday, September 11, 2015

Missed the deadline and can show good cause? File a GOOD CAUSE PETITION.
2015 Late Filing Period
3/3/2015 - 9/11/2015

2016 Filing Period
3/3/2015 - 3/1/2016

You may file in person or online.
2015 Late Filing
3/3/2015 - 9/11/2015

2016 Filing Period
3/3/2015 - 3/1/2016

TPP Tax Return Deadline
4/1/2015

Extension Request Period
3/18/2015 - 4/1/2015

Memorial Day
5/25/2015

Independence Day
7/3/2015

Labor Day
9/7/2015

Veteran's Day
11/11/2015

Thanksgiving
11/26/2015 - 11/27/2015

Christmas
12/24/2015 - 12/25/2015