Ad Valorem Taxes (Latin for "according to worth") are taxes based upon the assessed value of three types of property:
- Real Estate: all lands, buildings, structures, fixtures and all other improvements to land. The terms land, real estate, and real property may be used interchangeably. The assessed value of real property is an annual determination of the just or fair market value of the property established by the Property Appraiser. The taxable value is determined by taking the assessed value minus the amount of any applicable exemptions.
- Tangible Personal Property: consists of equipment used in conducting a business or all attachments to a mobile home, when the owner of the mobile home does not own the land upon which it is affixed,
- Centrally Assessed (railroads): taxes assessed to railroads utilizing portions of land in Clay County. Billed in the same manner as personal property taxes and subject to the same delinquent collection methods.
The Tax Collector collects all ad valorem taxes and non ad valorem assessments levied in Clay County. Ad valorem taxes are levied annually based on the value of real property and tangible personal property. Ad Valorem taxes are assessed every January 1.
Non ad valorem assessments are based on the benefit to the property for essential services, such as solid waste (garbage tax), and the Municipal Service Benefit Units (MSBU) which is for road maintenance and construction in different areas of the county. There is also the Community Development District (CDD) which is a rate set by the community.
The ad valorem tax roll is certified to the Tax Collector by the Property Appraiser, who determines the assessed value of property. The Board of County Commissioners, School Board, municipalities, and water management districts set the millage rates for properties within their boundaries. The millage rate is the dollar amount to be paid in taxes for every $1,000 of appraised valuation. One mill equals $1.00 per $1,000 of property value.
The non ad valorem assessment rolls are certified to the Tax Collector by local governing boards or non ad valorem assessing authorities, such as the solid waste, MSBU, and CDD.
The Tax Collector consolidates the certified ad valorem and non ad valorem tax rolls and mails tax notices to the property owner's last known address of record as it appears on the tax roll. Ad valorem and non ad valorem assessments are mailed on or before October 31, and due November 1. In cases where the property owner pays their real estate taxes through an escrow account, the mortgage company normally will request and be sent the tax bill, and the owner will receive an informational notice. Florida law makes taxpayers responsible for knowing that their property taxes are due each year. Taxes become delinquent April 1.