Gov. Jeb Bush signed H.B. 15 (B) into law on December 14, 2005, and counties declared a major disaster area in 2005 may now extend the discount period for early payment of property taxes.
The bill does not automatically extend the window for homeowners in counties declared major disaster areas to pay their property taxes at a discount. Instead, it authorizes these counties to adopt a rule change that allows taxpayers a longer period of time to pay while still getting an early-payment discount. Counties may adopt extensions in whole or in part by issuing an emergency ordinance. The extension does not apply to mortgages, lien holders or vendees that make tax payments on behalf of the property owner; and the county tax collector is responsible for implementing the discount period.
The bill allows counties to extend the following early-payment of property taxes discount periods:
• the 4 percent discount period from Nov. 30, 2006 to Jan. 31, 2006
• the 3 percent discount period from Dec. 31, 2005 to Feb. 28, 2006
• the 2 percent discount period from Jan. 31, 2006 to March 31, 2006
The bill is effective immediately and will expire April 1, 2006.
Source: FLORIDA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS