Bay County Property Appraiser’s Office
Bay County Property Appraiser’s Office
Bay County Property Appraiser’s
Understanding Your Notice of
Dan Sowell, CFA
Bay County Property Appraiser
860 W. 11th Street
Panama City, FL 32401
What Exactly is a TRIM Notice?
• Your TRIM, or truth-in-millage notice is designed to inform
you which taxing authority is responsible for the taxes levied
and the amount of tax liability owed to each taxing authority
on a yearly basis. Please read it carefully.
• Your notice enables you to compare the prior year assessed
value and taxes with the present year assessed value and
proposed taxes. It also allows you to compare the amount of
taxes if there is not budget change for the upcoming year.
• The notice lists the date, time, and location of all budget
hearings at which the taxing authorities will hear from the
• At these hearings, the taxing authorities establish the millage
to be levied against the parcel of land shown on the TRIM
2010 SAMPLE TRIM
Why is the Market Value Different
from the Assessed Value?
• If the property in question is under a Homestead Exemption, the
taxable value is limited by constitutional amendment or “capped”.
This means that if market influences cause an increase in overall
assessments within the County, homesteaded property is protected
from being impacted by the full reassessment in a given year.
• The limit that the value of homesteaded property can increase in a
year is either 3% of the market value or the Consumer Price Index,
whichever is less. (The exceptions to this rule are major
improvements to the property such as additions or additional extra
features such as pools, fences and utility buildings.)
• Also, 2009 was the 1st year non-homestead property increases
are capped at no more than 10% on the non-school portion of
one’s tax bill.
The Role of the Property Appraiser
The Property Appraiser is required by Florida Law to:
1. Locate, identify and accurately appraise all properties subject
to ad valorem taxes;
2. Maintain property value roll equity;
3. Process allowable exemptions.
The Property Appraiser has no jurisdiction or responsibility for
district budgets, tax rates, special assessments or
determining the amount of taxes you pay. These matters are
handled by various taxing authorities performing services i.e.
the County Government, City Governments, School Board
and other taxing districts.
What if I Believe the Assessment of My
Property is Incorrect?
If you think the assessed value of your property is incorrect, you may
contact our office to discuss your assessment with one of our
If our office is unable to resolve a disagreement concerning the
assessed value, you may file a petition to appear before the Value
Petitions are available for the Property Appraiser’s Office, as well as
our website, and must be filed within 25 days from the mailing of
the TRIM Notices.
For the 2010 tax year, petitions must be filed with the Clerk of Circuit
Court on or before September 14th.
For information on how to file a petition, contact the Bay County Clerk
of Circuit Court at (850) 767-3314.
What if I Feel My Taxes are too High?
As previously stated, the Property Appraiser has no
jurisdiction over the amount of taxes you are
required to pay. Your taxes are determined by
the various taxing authorities, which are listed on
your TRIM Notice. If you feel your taxes are
excessive, you are encouraged to voice your
opinion to the proper taxing authorities by
attending the scheduled budget hearings listed
on your Notice. A list of phone numbers for the
various taxing authorities is listed on the
following page should you have any questions
about these hearings.
Contacting Your Taxing Authorities
Bay County School Board
Bay County Board of County Commissioners
Bay County Mosquito Control District
Beach Mosquito Control District
Multiple Service Taxing Unit
Northwest Florida Water Mgmt. District
City of Panama City
Panama City Downtown Improvement Board
City of Lynn Haven
City of Callaway
City of Cedar Grove
City of Mexico Beach