- TOP 5 QUESTIONS
- Do you have a copy of my land survey?
No. Contrary to popular belief, land surveys are not filed with the Property Appraiser's office. A land survey is a document created by a surveyor that identifies the boundaries, rights of way, easements and location of existing improvements. While often mistaken for a survey, the maps displayed on our website and maintained by our office are for the purpose of maintaining the property assessment roll and should not be relied upon as a substitute for a survey.
Since survey's are typically required by lenders during the transfer of property, property owners are encouraged to contact the title company that handled the title transfer for their acquisition of the property, or the mortgage lender if their purchase was more than 3 years ago.
- What do I need to know when buying a home?
Learn about estimating property taxes, applying for exemptions and more.
- What do I need to know when selling a home?
Move your exemptions and, if you have a Save Our Homes benefit to port, learn how to do that here.
- What is my property value?
Using the Quick Search feature on our Home page, locate your property then scroll down to the Value History. Both current and historical value information is displayed for easy viewing.
Your Property Value is comprised of Land, Building, and Extra Feature values. The allocation of the property value between these three components is indicated in the FEMA/WLM Letter obtained from the Quick Pick Tool.
- Can you tell me who owns property located at…?
The Quick Search feature on our Home page will display data for a parcel within Pinellas County. Search by address, name or parcel number.
- TECHNICAL QUESTIONS
- Why does my property detail print preview look different from the webpage?
There may be an optional check box required that cannot be automatically activated in some web browsers. Enabling background graphics will make the printout appear similar to the web page. While the print dialog box is open, click “More settings”, then “Options” and check the background graphics box to activate. This box is checked by default in Chrome, Internet Explorer and Firefox. Other options are to choose a different printer; print to PDF; or try using a different browser such as Firefox, Edge (replacing Internet Explorer), Chrome, or DuckDuckGo.
- Why doesn't the parcel map display on the property detail page?
This is typically a result of one of the following issues:
1) Enable Background Graphics is turned off - Enabling background graphics will make the printout appear similar to the web page. While the print dialog box is open, click “More settings”, then “Options” and check the background graphics box to activate.
2) Web browsers tend to hold onto information (cookies), which over time could cause issues with logging in or displaying websites correctly. If you are experiencing issues with the parcel map loading on a property detail, you may need to clear your web browsing cache/history, then close and restart your web browser. If you are still experiencing issues afterward, please contact our Mapping Department at (727) 464-3207 for assistance.
- Why does the map say my location is somewhere different than where I actually am?
This feature is intended to be used on a mobile device (smart phone or tablet) with location services enabled. User experience varies on desktop computers. If you receive your desktop computer internet service from an ISP (internet Service Provider), then you are likely to be placed in the wrong location. The last location that is sent back is the last building/terminal of your ISP before it reaches you. This could be miles away from your actual location or even in another state.
- I found a data error on your website, who should I contact?
We appreciate your time in helping us correct erroneous data. Please submit a detailed note using the Contact Us/Questions Comments Suggestions section of our website. Be sure to include your contact information so we may discuss if we determine there is a misunderstanding and data does not need to be changed.
- SEARCH QUESTIONS
- What is the best way to search for an address?
Often, "less is more" when it comes to searching. For example, if searching for an address, it is not necessary to enter the complete address. Entering the street number and name in the address search field will return all addresses with that criteria. Please keep in mind that street descriptions such as "street" (st), "avenue" (ave), "boulevard" (blvd), etc... are abbreviated in our database.
- Why isn't zoning displayed on the property record?
Pinellas County is home to 24 incorporated municipalities plus the unincorporated areas, each with their own zoning regulations. Tracking and maintaining changing zoning information would most likely lead to inaccurate and/or out of date information. However, we do provide a link to the respective jurisdiction's zoning map on the property info pop-up on the Map Search page. This link will take you to the level of the online resource available for public use that we are able to connect to. For example, in larger jurisdictions such as St. Petersburg, Clearwater, and Unincorporated Pinellas County, we are able to take you to the parcel level within the jurisdiction's mapping system. However, smaller jurisdictions, such as some of our beach towns, only have a PDF zoning map depicting their entire town (will require you to visually search the map for your parcel of interest).
We advise any zoning questions be directed to the municipality in which the property is located, or the Pinellas County Building Department webpage if the property lies in an unincorporated area.
- Why aren't the number of bedrooms and bathrooms listed?
Bedrooms are not listed because all measurements are taken from outside the home and specific rooms are not detailed.
Bathrooms are expressed in terms of fixtures. A fixture is the hole through which water runs. For instance, a property that lists 5 fixtures translates to 1½ bathrooms; that is, the full bath might include one fixture for a single sink, one fixture for a shower/tub combination, and one fixture for the toilet. The ½ bath may be a toilet and a sink (two fixtures), for a total of five.
- Where will I find a copy of a deed?
If there is a recorded deed associated with the parcel, view the Property Detail page and locate the Last Recorded Deed listed under Parcel Information. Click on the icon to the right of the Book/Page number which will link you to the Pinellas County Clerk of the Circuit Court official records website where you may view the document.
Please note that it may take 2 weeks for newly recorded deeds to show up on the Clerk's website plus an additional 2 weeks to be processed and published to our website. We recommend searching the Clerk's site directly when attempting to locate a recently recorded deed, as this will be the first place it will appear. Any questions that arise while viewing the Clerk's recorded documents should be directed to the Clerk's office at (727) 464-7000.
- How do I find a previous owner's name?
Our office monitors current ownership but often shows both the grantor and grantee in the Sales History portion of the Property Detail page for transactions within recent years. Prior owners can also be found by searching the current and former deeds associated with the property. Click on the icon to the right of the Book/Page number which will link you to the Pinellas County Clerk of the Circuit Court official records where you may view the document and see all parties involved in a particular transaction. Any questions that arise while viewing deeds or other Clerk documents should be directed to the Clerk's office at (727) 464-7000.
- HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION / SAVE OUR HOMES QUESTIONS
- What documents do I need to apply for Homestead Exemption?
Evidence of residency and qualifications for all owners, including spouses, is required when filing:
- Florida Automobile Registration and Driver License
- Social security numbers for all owners and spouses
- Florida Voter's Registration
- Resident Alien Card or Date of Naturalization, if applicable
- If applying for widow/widower exemption, a death certificate or obituary notice
- Proper certification for a disability exemption
- If applicable, proof of no out-of-state residency-based Exemption Benefits, i.e a letter from the out-of-state appraiser or assessor, or a tax bill.
NOTE: Disclosure of your Social Security Number is mandatory per Section 196.011(1), Florida Statutes.
- Can I transfer my homestead exemption from one home to another?
No. As per Section 196.011(9)(a), Florida Statutes, you no longer qualify for your exemption if:
- Property granted an exemption is sold or otherwise disposed of;
- Ownership changes in any manner;
- The applicant for homestead exemption ceases to use the property as his or her homestead;
- The status of the owner changes so as to change the exempt status of the property.
A new application for homestead exemption is required at your new Florida residence by March 1 of the application year. In making this new homestead exemption application you may also apply for portability to receive any accrued Save Our Homes benefit from your prior FL homestead.
- What is the Save Our Homes amendment and how does it affect me?
The Florida Constitution was amended effective January 1, 1995, to limit annual increases in assessed value of property with Homestead Exemption to 3% or the amount of the Consumer Price Index, whichever is lower. No assessment, though, shall exceed current fair market value. This limitation applies only to property value, not property taxes.
For detailed information visit the Learn About / Save Our Homes page on this website.
- Can I transfer my Save Our Homes benefit from one home to another?
On January 29, 2008, Florida voters passed Amendment 1 which included a provision for Portability (transfer) of the Save Our Homes benefit. Visit Learn About / Portability for more information on the Amendment, examples of portability, and to learn about our portability calculator, which is included within our “Tax Estimator”.
- Will I Lose My Homestead Exemption if I add someone to my deed?
Adding names to the ownership of your home normally does not change your Homestead Exemption. However, you may lose all or part of the protection your property receives from the Save Our Homes (SOH) assessment limitation benefit or "cap" if the added owner applies for homestead exemption on the property. The SOH cap keeps the assessed value (not the taxes) of your home from increasing more than 3% per year as long as you maintain your homestead exemption. A loss of protection from the SOH cap will increase the amount of property taxes you pay.
Will I lose my Save Our Homes benefit if I add someone to my deed?
Possibly, depending on how you own the property (the "tenancy"), and if the new owner files for Homestead Exemption on your property. "Tenancy" is the term used to describe the way property is owned, the relationship between the owners, and what happens to the property when an owner dies. The most common forms of tenancy are:
- Tenancy by the Entireties
- Joint Tenants with Right of Survivorship
- Tenants in Common
If two or more people own property with a homestead exemption, the type of tenancy that appears on the deed can have an effect on the "Save Our Homes" provision, and ultimately the amount of taxes that are owed.
- If the new owner is your spouse, or someone who is legally or naturally dependent on you, they must apply for homestead exemption. Your current Save Our Homes cap will not be adjusted.
- If the new owner is a joint tenant with right of survivorship and DO NOT apply for Homestead Exemption, the SOH cap will not be adjusted.
- If the new owner is a joint tenant with right of survivorship and DOES apply for Homestead Exemption, the SOH cap will be adjusted to market value and start anew the following year. In future years, the SOH Cap will protect 100% of the property. One Important Note! If the new owner intends to make the property their permanent residence, it may make more sense to apply for the new Homestead Exemption now rather than waiting until a later date. The current Homestead Exemption and SOH cap protects only the original owner, not the new owner. In the future if the original owner no longer resides in this home (e.g., moves out and applies for homestead exemption elsewhere or passes away), the new owner will then have to apply for the homestead exemption and the property value and taxes will most likely be much higher than they are now.
- If the new owner is a tenant in common and DOES NOT apply for homestead exemption, the SOH cap will be adjusted to protect proportionately a percentage of interest in the property (e.g., two tenants in common would result in 50% protected, 50% unprotected). The percentage of interest for any owner who does not have homestead exemption will be assessed at market value each year. If the new owner DOES apply for Homestead Exemption, the SOH cap will be adjusted to market value and start anew the following year.
- Can I file for my exemption online?
Yes! When you purchase a home, we encourage you to use our convenient online Exemption E-File to apply for exemptions. This easy to use application will step you through the process ensuring you apply for all the exemptions you may be eligible for. You may apply for homestead online as soon as your ownership is reflected on your parcel on our website.
- Is there a deadline to file for an exemption?
Yes, the state's deadline is March 1 for the tax year in which you wish to qualify. However, you are urged to file as soon as possible once you own, occupy and make that home your legal residence.
If you received your homestead exemption for the previous year and still occupy, own, and make that residence your permanent home, a receipt will be mailed to you early in January. You only need to notify the Property Appraiser's office if you no longer qualify for these exemptions or if you think you qualify for additional exemptions.
- How do I let my lender know I have an exemption?
You may send them either a copy of the Parcel Detail page or the Homestead Exemption Status page for your property from our website.
- How is the Save Our Homes cap treated when demolishing and reconstructing a home with homestead?
Option 1 - Property with No Flood History
(a) If there is no flood history on a property and the owner completely demolishes the property with the intent to rebuild, then the Homestead exemption and Save Our Homes Cap (Cap) remain on the land value of the property for the year following the demolition. The property owner must maintain the property as his or her permanent residence and make reasonable efforts to rebuild. The reconstruction must be finished within three years following the January 1 of the demolition. The value of the new construction will then be added above the Cap once completed. (b) If the property owner chooses to completely demolish the property with the intent to rebuild, the owner may preserve their Cap on the original improvement through portability. The property owner must “abandon” the Homestead exemption prior to the demolition of the property. Abandonment of the Homestead exemption will remove the exemption from the land for one year and allows the property owner two years including the current tax year of the demolition to complete the home. The owner must file for portability through our office by re-applying for Homestead exemption and filing out the appropriate portability form. The property must be finished prior to the January 1 of the second tax year, if the property is not finished within this time limit then the Cap is lost forever.
Option 2 - Property with Documentation of a Flood from Rising Water
The Property Appraiser recognizes private insurers and FEMA document flood claims or repetitive loss flood claims on properties. Your property will be considered damaged by misfortune or calamity if you have a documented flood claim or is designated a repetitive flood loss property by your insurer. In the event of misfortune or calamity, the changes, additions, or improvements to your Homestead property will not increase the assessed value when the square footage of the homestead property as changed or improved does not exceed 110% of the total square footage before the flood claim or the homesteaded property as changed or improved does not exceed 1,500 square feet. You have three years after January 1 from the documented claim or designation as a repetitive flood loss property to begin the demolition and rebuilding process to preserve your Cap on the property.
- What other exemptions are available?
There are multiple exemptions available to property owners. Please click on Exemptions in the menu bar to learn more. Our friendly customer service representatives are also available and happy to assist you with any questions you may have.
- Can I have homestead in a trust?
When property is owned by a trust, a homestead exemption can be granted, but there are strict requirements that must be met in order for the applicant to qualify:
- The applicant must have beneficial or equitable title to real property for life. In other words, the applicant(s) must be the beneficiary of the trust, with interest in REAL property, not PERSONAL property.
- The applicant must have the present possessory interest in the property. Simply, the applicant must have the right to live there, and only the person(s) who has the present possessory interest is entitled to homestead exemption.
- The deed that transfers the property into the trust must be recorded.
If the recorded deed addresses these requirements, it is not necessary for us to review the trust document. If the deed does not address these requirements, the trust must be reviewed in order to determine if the applicant is qualified for homestead exemption. Another way to qualify a person for homestead exemption is for the grantor or beneficiary to reserve or retain a life estate on the face of the deed.
Below is sample language that could be included on a deed that would allow a trust beneficiary to qualify for homestead exemption in Pinellas County. Please consult with your attorney or estate planning professional for advice before including this or similar language on the deed that funds your trust.
Grantor(s) reserves the right to reside upon any real property placed in this trust as his or her permanent residence during his or her lifetime. It is the intent of this provision to retain for the grantor(s) the requisite beneficial interest and possessory right in and to such real property for life, and to create “equitable title to real estate.”
Any questions regarding the qualification of trust beneficiaries or trustees for homestead exemption may be directed to the Exemptions Department at (727) 464‐3207.
PLEASE CONSULT YOUR ATTORNEY OR ESTATE PLANNING PROFESSIONAL.
THIS INFORMATION DOES NOT CONSTITUTE LEGAL ADVICE
- PROPERTY VALUE INFORMATION
- How can you say that my property is worth $150,000 when I paid $250,000 for it three years ago?
The current valuation reflects changes in the real estate market since the property was purchased 3 years ago. Sales that have taken place since then indicate that the market value of the property has decreased.
- What should I do when I receive my Notice of Proposed Property Taxes (TRIM) around the third week of August, and I believe that the proposed value of my property is incorrect?
If you believe your proposed value is higher or lower than market value on January 1st, we encourage you to call our office and speak with your area appraiser who is happy to discuss your value. Often this discussion will quickly resolve any issues. Our goal is to determine that your property is appraised equitably and accurately.
If you are still dissatisfied after talking with a Property Appraiser employee, you may challenge your value or exemption status by filing a petition with the Value Adjustment Board (VAB). The VAB is the independent decision-making authority when there is disagreement between the property owner and Property Appraiser’s office. Petitions are easily filed online with the Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller at http://www.mypinellasclerk.org/vab for a nominal fee.
- Can you win a reduction before the Value Adjustment Board?
Yes, you can if you prove that your appraisal exceeded market value. However, if you base your petition on a personal hardship, such as living on a fixed income or an inability to pay any more taxes, the unfortunate answer is "no". However, you may be eligible for the tax deferral plan administered by the Tax Collector's office. Information regarding the plan is included with the tax bill you receive in November. The fact that your value increased from last year to this year is not a basis to reduce this year's appraised value, since each year's assessment stands alone.
The Value Adjustment Board does not set the millage rate and has no jurisdiction over taxes. The only questions the Special Magistrate determines is whether the appraised value of a property exceeds its market value as of January 1, and if you were qualified to receive an exemption to which you were denied.
- My insurance company just appraised my house. Why does it differ from my TOTAL market value?
An appraisal made for insurance purposes does not include land and typically does not include depreciation.
- What is the Save Our Homes amendment and how does it affect me?
The Florida Constitution was amended effective January 1, 1995, to limit annual increases in assessed value of property with Homestead Exemption to 3% or the amount of the Consumer Price Index, whichever is lower. However, no assessment shall exceed current market value as of January 1 of the respective tax year. This limitation applies only to property value, not property taxes.
For more details, visit Learn About / Save Our Homes.
- What is "Highest and Best Use"?
This term refers to the 'use' which will generate the highest net return to the property over a reasonable period of time based on current market conditions. For a more detailed explanation, visit FL Statutes Governing Assessments to learn more.
- What happens if the real estate market goes down?
Florida law sets January 1st as the assessment date each year to determine both value and exemption eligibility. While January 1 is the date used for setting the assessed value for the Notice of Proposed Property Taxes sent in August and tax bill sent by the Tax Collector in November, the value is based upon the market value for similar properties in the same or comparable subdivisions during January 2 of last year through to January 1 of this year.
With that in mind, if sales indicate that market values have increased or decreased last year, it will be reflected on this August's Notice of Proposed Property Taxes.
- How is land valued?
Land is valued using the sales comparison (a/k/a market) approach. The location of the land is a major factor in determining its value, (e.g., land located near the water is generally more valuable than inland parcels). Sale properties are analyzed and compared. Units of comparison such as price per square foot, acre, front foot or unit as determined from sale properties are most often used to arrive at appropriate indicators of value to apply to non-sale properties based on their comparability and highest and best use.
- What guidelines does the Property Appraiser follow in determining property value?
The Property Appraiser and staff must abide by the Florida State Constitution and the Florida Statutes. The Florida Department of Revenue also issues a manual of instructions which conforms to the intent of the previously mentioned documents. The office also ascribes to the practices and standards of the International Association of Assessing Officers (IAAO).
- I have the homestead exemption, so why did my property's assessed value increase more than the 3 percent cap?
The assessed value could have increased by more than 3 percent for one of several reasons. If this is your first year receiving the homestead exemption, the assessed value will equal the just value. The assessed value will be capped next year and going forward. If you made any changes, additions, or improvements to your property, that portion is assessed at just value in the first year. If all or a portion of your property is not homestead property, the 3 percent cap does not apply. A 10 percent assessment limitation applies to non-homestead property. Please contact our office and speak to our friendly and knowledgeable customer service representatives for specific information about your property's assessed value.
- Why are my taxes increasing when the assessment on my home is going down?
There are a couple of reasons why this may happen. It may be because the millage rate (tax rate) determined by local taxing authorities is increasing. Another reason may be what's known as the "Recapture Rule". In short, if you have the Save Our Homes cap on your property and your market value decreases, the assessed value will still increase by the annual cap rate until it reaches the just/market value.