If you plan on buying a condo in downtown Fort Lauderdale, you should understand how taxes work:

Real estate taxes here are based on the “assessed value” of your property which is determined by the Broward County Property Appraiser. Every year around June, the Property Appraiser determines the “just market value” of your property (as of January 1 of the current year) and after all exemptions (homestead etc..) are applied, it determines your “assessed value”.

Then the main taxing bodies (City, County, School Board or some other minor ones) determine their “millage rate” during the Summer. The sum of all millage rates is applied to your assessed value and determines how much you owe in taxes.

Las Olas River House

Real estate taxes in Broward county are paid in arrears. You receive your tax bill in November for the past year. E.g. in November 2018 you will receive your tax bill for the year 2018. You have until March of the next year to pay. If you pay in November, you get 4% discount, in December 3% discount etc..

If you live in your property, you are eligible for the homestead exemption which exempts up to $50,000 of assessed value from taxation. It also caps future increases of your assessed value to a maximum of 3% per year (or the inflation rate if lower). This explains why some long time owners have a tax base which is much lower than the just market value of their property.

This is why you should NEVER look at how much the seller is paying in taxes. That could be misleading. We encourage you to go to the Property Appraiser’s website at Bcpa.net. Click on this link “Home Buyer’s Tax Estimator” . It will give you a reasonable estimate of the taxes you will be paying once you get title to the property.


Olivier Turina is your expert for downtown condos in booming Fort Lauderdale