This glossary is intended only to simplify technical terms relating to property appraisal and taxation in Florida. More detailed information on many of these listings may be found on this website, in Florida Statutes or on the Florida Department of Revenue website.


 
A
 
Actual Year Built       
The year an improvement (building or permanent structure) is completed.
 
Ad Valorem (from Latin meaning “According to Value”)               
Typically refers to a tax methodology using the value of a property for the purpose of taxation. Taxing authorities each set an ad valorem tax rate which is applied to a property’s taxable value to determine property (ad valorem) taxes.
 
Additional Homestead Exemption              
Up to an additional $25,000 off a homesteaded property’s assessed value. The additional exemption applies to assessed value over $50,000. This exemption is in addition to the regular homestead exemption and does not apply to the school tax levy.
 
Agricultural Classification  
A classification granted to properties with a bona fide commercial agricultural use (unrelated to zoning) which lowers the value for taxation purposes. This is also called the Greenbelt Classification. 
 
Appeal
A process in which a property owner can contest the ‘market value’ assessment of their property or the denial of an exemption or agricultural classification with the Value Adjustment Board. Property owners have 25 days from the mail date of the Notices of Proposed Property Taxes in mid to late August to file a formal appeal/petition with the Value Adjustment Board.
 
Assessed Value
An annual determination of the just/fair market value of a property or item with any limitations or caps applied. For homesteaded property, the annual increase in assessed value is 3% or less based on the change in the National Consumer Price Index (CPI). Increases on non-homesteaded property are capped at 10%. If there are no caps or limitations of any kind, the assessed value is equal to the market value of the property. A difference between assessed and market value can also be generated by an adjustment due to portability.   (see s. 4(a-c), Art. VII of the State Constitution.)
 
B
 
Building Type
The Building Type (also known as building use) denotes the primary use of a building on a particular property.
 
 
C
 
 
Cadastralist
A person who is trained in the mapping of property commonly focused on the details of ownership, tenure, dimensions and precise locations of individual parcels of land.
 
CAMA
Computer-Assisted Mass Appraisal. The term CAMA typically refers to the computer system utilized by the Duval County Property Appraiser’s Office that incorporates statistical analyses to assist in estimating values.
 
Combine (also join, tie)
Combining two or more separate parcels into one parcel based on certain requirements.
 
Comparables, comparable sales
Sold properties that are similar in important characteristics to a property being appraised and used for comparison purposes in determining value. Similarities can include location, size and other physical and functional characteristics. Property appraisals are based on January 1, so typically most comparable sales used in the appraisal process are prior to January 1.
 
Conveyance
A legal document that transfers ownership of property. A deed is a conveyance.
 
CPI
The Consumer Price Index (CPI) is a national measurement of the average change over time in prices paid by urban consumers for goods and services.  The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) of the U.S. Department of Labor collects the CPI price information and calculates the CPI statistics. 

In Florida, the change in the National CPI is utilized to determine the cap on annual increases in assessed value for homesteaded properties. Annual changes in the assessed value of homesteaded properties are based on the change in the CPI but may not exceed an increase of 3%.   A detailed explanation is posted on the Florida Department of Revenue’s web site.
 
 
D
 
 
Deed
Legal document used to transfer ownership of property.
 
Differential
When discussed in regard to property values, ‘differential’ typically refers to the difference between the market and assessed values. In most cases, the difference is due to the “Save our Homes” cap on annual increases in assessed value on homesteaded property and/or the 10% cap on annual increases in assessed value of non-homesteaded property. 
 
Department of Revenue (DOR)
For purposes of this website, DOR refers to the Florida Department of Revenue.
 
 
E
Effective Area
Adjusted area used in the calculation of the building value accounting for sub-areas such as garages, porches, etc.
 
Eight Criteria
Refers to the eight factors property appraisers must consider in deriving just valuation pursuant to s. 193.011.
 
Exemption
A reduction to the assessed value of a property for taxation purposes. The most common exemption is the homestead exemption. 
 
Extra Features
Miscellaneous improvements on a property such as pools, patios, fences, etc. that add value to the property.
 
 
F
 
Fair Market Value
A value determined by the Property Appraiser’s Office based on what a buyer willing but not obliged to buy would pay a seller willing but not obliged to sell on January 1 of the Tax Roll year. This takes into account the eight criteria outlined in state law s. 193.011, FL Statutes, and excludes estimated costs associated with a sale. Also referred to as just value.
 
Field Inspection
Physical inspection of property to ensure property details and data are accurate and up-to-date. Florida Statutes 193.023 requires your county property appraiser’s office to inspect all property at least once every five years. 
 
 
G
 
 
GIS (Geographic Information System)
Refers to the City of Jacksonville’s Geographic Information System (GIS). The Property Appraiser’s website provides a direct link from your property data page to a map of your property through this system. The map includes geographical data such as flood zones and other information as well as a wide array of overlay options with various data.
 
Gross Area
Gross Area denotes the total square footage of all building areas.
 
 
H
 
Heated Area
Heated Area typically denotes living space. (may be areas within a building served by heating and/or air conditioning.)
 
Highest and Best Use
A concept in appraisal and in assessment law requiring that each property be appraised as though it were being put to its most profitable use, given probable legal, physical and financial constraints. ‘Highest and best use’ is typically used in commercial appraisal.
 
Homestead Exemption
An exemption of up to $50,000 off your property’s assessed value. Property owners must apply for the exemption which is granted to property used as a primary residence. The exemption provides $25,000 off the assessed value which applies to all taxing authorities, and up to an additional $25,000 off value above $50,000. The additional exemption does not apply to the school tax.
 
 
I
 
 
Improvement
Something added to vacant land with the intention of increasing its value. A structure erected on property is a common type of improvement. ‘Improved’ property is typically property with one or more structures on it.
 
Informal Review 
Typically refers to a meeting with Property Appraiser staff regarding value. Informal reviews often occur following the mailing of the Notices of Proposed Property Taxes in mid-August. Formal petitions to have value changed must be made to the Value Adjustment Board within 25 days following the mailing.
 
 
J
 
Join (also combine, tie)
Combining two or more separate parcels into one parcel based on certain requirements.
 
Just Value
A value determined by the Property Appraiser’s Office based on what a buyer willing but not obliged to buy would pay a seller willing but not obliged to sell on January 1 of the Tax Roll year. This takes into account the eight criteria outlined in state law s. 193.011, FL Statutes, and excludes estimated costs associated with a sale. Also referred to as fair market value.
 
L
 
 
Land Type
Units in which property is measured i.e. acres, front footage, etc.
 
Legal Description
Legal description listed on the last document processed by the Property Appraiser’s Office. This may not be the complete legal description due to space constraints. Please see the recorded document for the full listing.
 
Levy
The total amount of money to be raised from a property tax as set forth in the budget of a taxing authority.
 
 
M
 
 
Market Value (Just Value)
A value determined by the Property Appraiser’s Office based on what a buyer willing but not obliged to buy would pay a seller willing but not obliged to sell on January 1 of the Tax Roll year. This takes into account the eight criteria outlined in state law s. 193.011, FL Statutes, and excludes estimated costs associated with a sale. Also called just value.
 
Mass Appraisal
The process of valuing a group of properties as of a given date, using standard methods and allowing for statistical testing.
 
Mill
One one-thousandth of a United States dollar. A tax rate of one mill would mean one dollar in taxes per thousand dollars of taxable value.
 
Millage Rate
Tax rate set by each taxing authority to generate taxes based on annual budgets. The millage rates of each taxing authority are combined to generate an overall millage rate. 
 
Municipality
 An incorporated area of the county such as a City, Town or Village.
 
N
 
 
Non-Ad Valorem Assessment
Special assessments, fees or service charges not based on your property’s value and millage. Non-ad valorem assessments may appear on your tax bill.
 
Non-Homestead Cap
A 10% cap on the annual increase in non-homesteaded property passed by Florida voters in January 2008.
 
 
O
Official Record Book (OR)
The designated book where a document is recorded in the Official Records of the County.
 
Official Record Page
The designated page within an Official Records Book where a document is recorded.
 
 
P
 
Parcel
A contiguous area of land described in a single description or as one of a number of lots on a plat; separately owned, either publicly or privately; and capable of being separately conveyed.
 
Permanent Residence
The place where a person has his or her true, fixed, and permanent home and principal establishment to which, whenever absent, he or she has the intention of returning.  A person may have only one permanent residence at a time.

Petition
For the purposes of this site, typically a form filed with the Value Adjustment Board to formally appeal the Property Appraiser’s ‘market value’ assessment of a property or the denial of an exemption or agricultural classification. Property owners have 25 days from the mailing of the Notices of Proposed Property Taxes in mid to late August to file a petition for a formal appeal with the Value Adjustment Board.
 
Portability
A law passed by Florida voters in January 2008 allowing homesteaded property owners to transfer the “Save Our Homes” savings (differential b/w market and assessed values) from one home in Florida to another. 
 
Predominant Use
Use of property for exempt purposed in excess of 50 percent but less than exclusive.
 
Property Appraiser
The county elected official charged with determining the value of all real and tangible property in the county and maintaining certain records connected therewith.
 
Property Use
Describes the main use of the property as a whole.
 
 
Q
 
 
Qualified/Unqualified Sales
Sales are determined to be qualified based on the Florida Department of Revenue Administrative Code. Unqualified sales are those which are not typically considered arm’s length in nature, such as deeds to or from banks, loan or mortgage companies, deeds bearing same family name as to grantor and grantee, and others.
 
 
R
 
Real Property
Land and all things attached to the land (improvements).
 
Rolled-Back Rate
The tax (millage) rate for a taxing authority that would generate the same amount of revenue as last year for that given authority. (excluding new construction)
 
 
S
 
 
Same-As Transaction
A typical transfer of ownership where a parcel is completely conveyed “as is” to a new owner.
 
Save Our Homes
Refers to a law passed by voters that limits the annual increase in assessed value of homesteaded property to 3% or less – based on the change in the Consumer Price Index. See the “Save Our Homes” page for more details.
 
Split
Creating multiple parcels from a single parcel.
 
 
 
T
 
Tangible Personal Property (TPP)
Everything other than real estate that is used, usually by a business, for income-producing purposes. Office furniture, computers, industrial equipment as well as appliances in rental properties are examples of tangible personal property. Inventory and some vehicles are excluded. Tangible Personal Property is taxed in Florida.
 
Tax Base
The total of all taxable values of property in a given community. 
 
Tax Certificate
A tax certificate is a lien on the property based on unpaid property taxes. It does not convey title to the land. Tax Certificates sold through a tax sale must be held two years before a tax deed application can be submitted. Bidding is based upon the amount of annual interest to be earned by the certificate buyer.
Tax Collector
The county elected official charged with collecting all ad valorem (property) taxes levied in a county by the taxing authorities, and other taxes and fees.
 
Tax Rate
Set by each taxing authority to generate taxes based on annual budgets. The tax rates set by each taxing authority are combined to generate an overall tax rate. This is also called the millage rate.
 
Tax Roll
The assessment roll prepared by the Property Appraiser pursuant to Chapter 193, Florida Statutes and certified pursuant to 193.122. The Tax Roll outlines the combined value of all real and tangible property in Duval County.
 
Taxable Value
The property value on which you are taxed. The Taxable Value is calculated by subtracting applicable exemptions from the assessed value. Taxable Value may vary by taxing authority, since some exemptions do not apply to every authority. 
 
Taxing Authority
A governmental entity that receives revenue from property taxes. Every year, each taxing authority sets a tax (millage) rate based on their annual budget.
 
Taxpayer
Means the person or other legal entity in whose name property is assessed.
 
Tie (also combine, join)
Combining two or more separate parcels into one parcel based on certain requirements.
 
Tile #
A number assigned to a one-mile square section of land which refers to the Section, Township and Range of that piece of land, according to the Public Land Survey (PLS) system utilized by the State of Florida.
 
Total Area
This is the property’s total square footage as calculated by the Geographic Information System (GIS). Amount may differ from land line info.
 
Truth in Millage (T.R.I.M.) Notice
The T.R.I.M. Notice is another name for the Notice of Proposed Property Taxes which is mailed to property owners in mid-August each year. The notice outlines your property’s value and exemptions as well as an estimation of your property taxes based on tax rates proposed by the various taxing authorities.  The mailing of the T.R.I.M. notices begins the 25-day protest period in which property owners can file to an appeal to the Value Adjustment Board.
 
 
V
 
 
Vacant
Typically parcels of land without buildings or structures. (may include outbuildings or extra features such as fences.)
 
Valuation
The process of appraising; of making estimates of the value of something.
 
Value Adjustment Board (VAB)
An independent special board, not associated with the Property Appraiser’s Office, to hear petitions and make judgments relating to valuation and exemption eligibility.  Property owners have 25 days from the mailing of the Notices of Proposed Property Taxes to file a petition with the VAB. The VAB consists of 5 members:  two members of the Jacksonville City Council (one of whom shall be the chairperson), one member of the Duval County School Board, and two citizen members (one appointed by the Jacksonville City Council and the Duval County School Board).
 
 
 
Y
 
 
Year Built/Actual Year Built
The year an improvement (building or permanent structure) is completed.
 
 
Z