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Your Trim Notice, Tax Bill, Property Taxes, and Special Assessments

What is an ad valorem tax?

Tax based upon the value of the property. Commonly referred to as “property tax”.

What is a special, or non-ad valorem, assessment?

A special assessment is a charge levied on properties for the cost of providing a certain service or improvement, such as solid waste collection, stormwater fees, or utility improvements. It is called a non-ad valorem assessment because it is on the property tax bill but is not based upon property value.

What is the millage rate?

The millage rate is the amount of property tax charged per $1,000 of taxable property value. For example, if the City’s current millage rate for general services is $7.7070 per $1,000 of taxable value. A property with a taxable value of $100,000 would pay $770.70 for city services.

What is a TRIM notice?

TRIM is an acronym for the Truth In Millage Law, passed in 1980 by the Florida state legislature. It was designed to keep the public informed about the taxes as proposed by local taxing authorities. The TRIM notice is the Notice of Proposed Property Taxes required by this law. All property owners should receive a TRIM notice each August. Other taxing authorities for Cape Coral property owners include the School Board, Lee County, and independent districts such as Mosquito Control.

How do I calculate my property tax?

The taxes due on a property are calculated by multiplying the taxable value of the property by the millage rate. For example, the property taxes on a home with a homestead exemption of $50,000 and a tax rate, of 4.8325 mills can be calculated in this manner:

Determine the taxable value of the property:

Assessed Value of Home: $150,000
Less Homestead Exemption: -$50,000
Taxable Value: $100,000

Divide the taxable value by 1,000 and multiply by the millage rate:

(100,000/1,000) X 4.8325 = $483.25

When do I receive my tax bill and when is payment due?

Tax bills are mailed by November 1, and payment is due on or before March 31 of the following calendar year. Discounts are available for early payment. For more information on making property tax payments, please call the Lee County Tax Collector at 239-339-6000 or visit their website Lee County Tax

My taxes are delinquent. Who should I contact?

The Lee County Tax Collector is responsible for collecting tax payments, which become delinquent after April 1 of each year. Please call the Lee County Tax Collector at 239-339-6000 or visit their website Lee County Tax

What is the rolled-back rate?

The rolled-back rate is the millage rate, based upon updated property value assessments that would provide the same amount of revenue as the previous year’s millage rate. New construction is excluded from this calculation.

Why have my property taxes increased?

Your tax bill may increase for a variety of reasons. Some of the most common reasons are:

  • loss of homestead exemption or other change in exemption status
  • increase in assessed property value (i.e. increase in market value)
  • increase in millage rate by one or more taxing authority

Column 1 on your TRIM notice contains the amounts you paid last year for each component of your property tax. Comparing this amount to the proposed amount for the upcoming year should help you to locate an item that may have increased.

Why is the assessed value of my home different from its market value?

The assessed value of your home is based upon the market value of the entire property. However, there is a state limit on the amount a residential property’s assessment can increase each year. If the market value of your home has increased substantially in the last few years, it is likely that your assessed value will indeed be lower than your current market value. For more information on how your assessed value is determined, visit the Lee County Property Appraiser’s website at Lee County Property Line

I think my property’s assessment is higher than it should be. Who should I call?

Property owners should first contact the Lee County Property Appraiser’s Office. Homeowners may decide to file a petition with the Value Adjustment Board to have the assessment adjusted. The VAB must receive these petitions before the deadline in mid-September 25 days after the TRIM notices are mailed by the Property Appraiser’s Office.

How can I apply for a homestead exemption?
You can apply for a homestead exemption at the Lee County Property Appraiser’s Office. There is no fee to apply for the homestead exemption. As long as ownership does not change and you continue to use this residence as your primary residence, the exemption will remain in effect.