Property Appraiser's Duties
REAL PROPERTY APPRAISAL
The Property Appraiser does not determine property taxes. This is the responsibility of the taxing authorities in Union County. These include County Government, the school board, Water Management District and others. The Property Appraiser is responsible for identifying the market value of property in the county. In reality the market value is determined by the economy. Your Property Appraiser estimates the market value of the property. This amount, less the cost of selling the property, is the basis upon which the property is appraised.
The Union County Property Appraiser's office uses nationally recognized appraisal systems and a Computer Assisted Mass Appraisal (CAMA) system to gather, store and analyze the large body of data necessary to arrive at a fair market value for each parcel of property in Union County. Actual sales prices of like properties in similar neighborhoods are a key component of the data needed by the skilled and professionally trained appraisers who assist the Property Appraiser in analyzing the real estate marketplace and evaluating your property.
Florida law specifies that every property must be inspected at least once every three years. Staff appraisers physically inspect the properties to determine any changes such as additions, changes in condition etc. The results of the physical inspection are noted in the CAMA system and are used in the annual calculation of the appraised value of the property.
About the Appraisal & Taxation
While many people think the Property Appraiser determines the amount of taxes each property owner pays, in reality the title "Property Appraiser" explains it all.
The Property Appraiser and his staff are charged with
placing a fair and just value on each individual property in
Union County. This is done using various methods
to be described below.
The role of setting the amount of taxes to be paid as a
result of the appraised value of a property is that of the
various taxing authorities, including the County
Commission, School Board, local municipalities and others.
These bodies use our appraisals as a base for setting the millage
rate. So, in a manner of speaking, your taxes could go up
or down, not due to the appraised value but due to millage
rates set by the taxing authorities. Your tax bill is
computed by the total taxes required of all the authorities.
The value of real estate fluctuates due to many factors. Factors
influencing value include property use, the
size and condition of improvements on the site and the
local real estate market.
Mobile homes have two possible classifications. They can be categorized as real property or tangible personal property. Real property refers to physical land and those items permanently attached to it (.e.g. a slab construction, a barn, a fence etc.). Tangible property is an item that is not real property; that is, something not permanently affixed to or part of the real estate (physical land).
Mobile homes which are permanently installed on property owned by the owner of the mobile home are considered real property and are appraised using the same process as a concrete block or other building. A license identifying such a mobile home as real property is obtained through the Property Appraiser's and Tax Collector's offices. A sticker so identifying a mobile home is attached to the mobile home.
A mobile home located on rented or leased property is considered tangible personal property. The county Tax Collector issues a license to identify the mobile home as tangible personal property.
TANGIBLE PERSONAL PROPERTY
The Property Appraiser is also responsible for appraising tangible personal property. This includes furniture and appliances in commercial property.
Florida Law provides for certain exemptions to the fully appraised value of real property. The most commonly known is Homestead exemption which deducts $25,000 from the appraised value of real property thus lowering the basis upon which tax is calculated by the Tax Collector. Other exemptions include religious, veteran, widow, disability, charitable and education. All requests for exemptions must be filed no later than March 1 of any year.
The Property Appraiser is responsible for a wide range of mapping services. Maintaining current maps is a key part of the entire appraisal process. Your Property Appraiser exerts tremendous energy to ensure that changes in Union County are quickly reflected in the County maps. These maps are available for use by County and municipal agencies, commercial users and others who have a need to see a graphic representation of Union County.