Live Oak —
What is ad valorem taxes?
“Basically, it’s an assessment based on just the value of real and tangible property,” said Linda Vought, assistant property appraiser. The Property Appraiser’s Office assesses each property in the county for tax purposes. Taxing authorities in the county then set their millage rate.
Every tax-paying homeowner in the county is required to pay a designated millage rate to the Suwannee County Board of County Commissioners, the Suwannee County School Board and the Suwannee River Water Management District. Citizens who live within the City of Live Oak and the Town of Branford are responsible for paying an additional tax based on a millage rate to their respective government offices.
The millage rates are determined by each governing entity.
“They determine how many mils it’s going to take to come up with the monies for their budget for the upcoming fiscal year,” Vought said.
The tax collector is then responsible for collecting the ad valorem taxes assessed to the property owners.
Who pays ad valorem taxes?
According to Jenkins, there is a misconception that only homes built on site are required to pay ad valorem taxes.
“That’s not true,” Jenkins said. “Mobile homes have to pay taxes just like a site built home. They’re both assessed the same.”
While reviewing the entire tax roll for the county, Jenkins said only 11.67 percent of the mobile home owners are not required to pay ad valorem taxes.
“Of the homes that are built on site, 5.44 percent of Suwannee County homeowners don’t have to pay ad valorem taxes. That’s only about a six percent difference,” Jenkins said.
Who is exempt?
According to the property appraiser, homeowners may be exempt from portions of the ad valorem taxes, but there are very few homeowners who are totally exempt. For the average person to be exempt from paying ad valorem taxes, they must meet one of the three requirements: