Ad Valorem Taxes
Real property is located in described geographic areas, designated as parcels. It includes land, building, fixtures, and improvements to the land.
Florida property taxes are relatively unique because:
- They are levied annually.
- Taxes on each parcel of real property have to be paid in full and at one time (except for the installment method and homestead tax deferrals).
- Substantial discounts are extended for early payment.
Ad valorem taxes or real property taxes are based on the value and tax rate of such property, and are paid in arrears. The tax year runs from January 1st to December 31st. The office of the Property Appraiser establishes the value of the property, and the Board of County Commissioners, School Board, City Councils and other levying bodies set the millage (tax) rates. One mill equals $1.00 per $1,000.00 of property value.
- City of DeFuniak Springs (850.892.8500)
- City of Freeport (850.835.2822)
- Walton County BCC (850.892.8155)
- Walton County School Board (850.892.1100)
- North Walton Mosquito (850.892.8470)
- South Walton Mosquito (850.267.2112)
- South Walton Fire (850.267.1298)
- Northwest Florida Water Management (850.539.5999)
Non-ad Valorem Assessments
Non-ad valorem assessments are NOT based on value but are set amounts established by private development districts. They are separated from ad valorem taxes on the tax notice. Non ad valorem assessments in Walton County are:
- Hammock Bay CDD (813.873.7300 District Management Services)
- Sommerset CDD (407.472.2471 Rizzetta & Company)
- Naturewalk CDD (407.472.2471 Rizzetta & Company)
- Magnolia Creek CDD (407.472.2471 Rizzetta & Company)
- Liberty Fire (850.892.5833)
- Argyle Fire (850.892.4702)
Special Assessments/ MSBUs
Chapter 125.01(q) 1 of the Florida Statutes authorizes the Board of County Commissioners (BCC) to create or abolish a MSBU. The law permits such districts to be created for the purpose of providing and maintaining facilities or services (such as fire services) which specifically benefit property owners in a particular area. The facilities or services must provide a public purpose. Chapter 197.3632 for the Florida Statutes provides for the levy, collection and enforcement of non-ad valorem assessments through the uniform method.
The initiation of a MSBU can be requested by property owners in the unincorporated area of Walton County. Municipal Service Benefit Unit improvements can include potable water, sanitary sewer, re-use water, roadway paving, canal dredging or drainage improvements. This public service must be approved by the Board of County Commissioners. The main purpose of this program is to retrofit existing developments with an improvement that at least 66.66% of the affected property owners have requested and approved. The MSBU improvements are funded by service charges, special assessments, or taxes within the MSBU for the cost of the improvements.
Following the finalization and acceptance of the project by the Board of County Commissioners, affected owners have a 30 day period to pay any part or all of the special assessment charge with no interest. If payment in full is not received, interest will accrue on a monthly basis following the 30 day period. The annual billing for the special assessment takes place in November of each year. The bill will include the annual principal payment plus accrued interest. The installment payment must be made by December 31st of
each year to prevent additional interest/penalties from accruing on the special assessment account.
Questions regarding MSBUs should be directed to the Board of County Commissioners Administration Office at (850) 892-8551. MSBUs that may be noted on your tax bill are: Walton County Fire Service(which will appear on tax notice as the local service provider for your area: Tri-village, United, Darlington, Freeport, Mossy Head, Glendale, Red Bay, or Paxton), Imperial Lakes, Daughette Canal, Four Mile Village, Leisure Lakes.