A message, or mid-summer update, from Nassau County, Florida's Property Appraiser A. Michael Hickox.
Nassau County, FL – “Thank you again for the opportunity you have given me to serve as your Property Appraiser. It truly is an honor and a privilege. For the third year in row we have reduced our expenses by cutting waste, cross training staff, outsourcing work, and embracing technology. We will continue to look for ways to improve our efficiency, save tax dollars, and offer the very best in customer service. I want to thank the other Constitutional Officers; Supervisor of Elections, Vicki Cannon; Tax Collector, John Drew, and Sheriff Bill Leeper for working with us on inter-local agreements which result in the sharing of staff and resources that have helped reduce our expenses and ultimately save tax dollars.
In 2014, we assumed the responsibility of 911 addressing which had previously been handled by the Sheriff’s office. This enabled us to have one unified GIS map for the County and allowed the Sheriff to reduce his staff size without a net increase to our staff. We also implemented an online homestead exemption option. You can now file for homestead exemption from the comfort and convenience of your home or office.
The 2015 assessment roll was recently approved by the Department of Revenue for Nassau County and reflects an increase in the taxable value for a second year in a row. Strong sales activity during 2014 has helped stabilize the local market by reducing inventory and shifting the market from a buyer’s market to a seller’s market in some price ranges. The value increase is directly related to supply and demand economics, historically low interest rates, and increase in new construction.
New construction during 2014 has added over $140 million of building value to the tax roll.
It is the statutory responsibility of the Property Appraiser’s Office to list and appraise all properties within the County to a fair market value every year and to administer property tax exemptions. It is the commitment of this office to execute the duties and responsibilities of the office of Property Appraiser in a fair and equitable manner. Therefore, we have continued to work hard to correct inconsistencies in the way property had been appraised in the past and to try and make sure we are not appraising property for more than it could reasonably sell for in the open market. The market value for 2015 is up by more than 6% compared to 2014, while the taxable value is up more than 5%. This is good news for Nassau County because it helps restore equity to property owners who lost value during the recession. Properties with homestead exemption are protected by the “Save Our Homes” Amendment which caps the amount of increase to the assessed value to no more than 3%, or the consumer price index, whichever is lower. For 2015 the increase is capped at .8%. Also, it should be noted that higher property values do not necessarily mean a tax increase. Local taxing authorities have the option to use the “Roll Back Rate” which would keep taxes at their current level.
During the next few weeks, all property owners will receive their notice of proposed property taxes, also known as the Truth in Millage (TRIM) notice. This notice will give you your 2015 values and list any exemptions you have applied and been approved for. If you believe your property is worth less than the Market Value stated on the notice, please call or email our office to discuss. We will be glad to review and get back with you. It is the goal of this office to be efficient, consistent, and fair with all property owners. I am happy to meet with you personally.
As Property Appraiser I appreciate the opportunity you have given me and I am here to continue serving you to the best of my ability.”
A. Michael Hickox
Nassau County Property Appraiser