Florida is a confusing state when it comes to tax bills. Most people think they pay their taxes in advance, but just the opposite is true. Today is May 26th, 2013, and even if I wanted to pay my taxes for 2013 today, I couldn’t do it. That’s because the tax bill will not be out until November of this year. To add even more confusion, Its really not due until March of 2014.
To throw a little more confusion into the mix, garbage expense is often part of the tax bill. But the garbage portion is paid in advanced, not in arrears. To make it even worse, the garbage portion runs on a September/October period, not a January/December period. Needless to say, this makes for some interesting questions when it comes to a closing.
Only in the months of November and December of each year can tax prorations be accurate. The other ten months of the year is a best guess scenario. The contract in Collier County does a good job covering the “best guess” scenario. The contract simply allows for either the buyer or seller to readjust the taxes accurately after the tax bill is issued. As a practical matter, this is rarely done. And the only time either a buyer or seller will benefit is when there is a huge up or down swing in the tax bill. When it comes to closings, there is never a shortage of information to learn.