The “Homestead Act” is a unique feature of Florida law which provides that legal residents, who meet certain requirements, can be granted up to a $50,000 exemption on the assessment evaluation of their principle residence. 

Every person who owns and resides on real property in Florida on January 1 and makes the property their permanent residence is eligible to receive a homestead exemption up to $50,000.  The first $25,000 applies to all property taxes, including school district taxes.  The additional exemption up to $25,000, applies to the assessed value between $50,000 and $75,000 and only to non-school taxes.

Additional property exemptions may apply in your case.  For more information, visit the Florida Department of Revenue’s web site listed below:

Florida Property Tax Exemptions (including homestead)

Florida has no state income tax.

Florida’s general sales tax is 6%.  Highlands County, like many other counties in Florida, has a discretionary sales surtax of 1% levied on the first $5,000 of the purchase price, along with a .5% School tax.

For more information on taxes for the State of Florida please visit the Department of Revenue at the following links:

State of Florida Department of Revenue
New Florida Resident Tax Information


SOURCE: Highlands Tax Collector Web site

Ad valorem taxes based on the assessed value of real property are collected on an annual basis beginning on November 1st for the tax year January 1st through December 31st. The office of the Property Appraiser establishes the assessed value of the property and the Board of County Commissioners, School Board, City Commissioners and other levying bodies set the millage rates. One mill equals $1.00 per $1,000.00 of property value.

Using this value and allowing for exemptions, the tax roll is completed by the Property Appraiser and must be certified by the Florida Department of Revenue. The Property Appraiser than passes the certified tax roll to the Tax Collector. The Tax Collector merges the non ad valorem assessments into the certified tax roll. The tax bill/notice is mailed to the owner’s address, as it appears on the certified tax roll.

However, it is the responsibility of each taxpayer to see that the taxes are paid and that a tax bill is received. In the cases where the property owner pays through an escrow account, the mortgage company, meeting criteria established by the Florida Statutes and the Tax Collector, can request and be sent the tax bill, and the property owner will receive a copy of the bill for information purposes.

Payment of Real Estate Taxes:

Tax statements are mailed out by November 1st of each year with the following discounts in effect for early payment:
4% if paid in November
3% if paid in December
2% if paid in January
1% if paid in February


The gross amount due in March.  Taxes become delinquent April 1st of each year, at which time a 3% penalty is added to the bill plus advertising costs.


SOURCE: Highlands Tax Collector Web site

This is a tax levied against the furniture and equipment of a business and attachments of a mobile home. After the assessed value is determined by the property appraiser and millage rates set by the taxing authorities, the tangible tax roll is then certified and delivered to the Tax Collector for collection. Tax statements are mailed on November 1st of each year.

Taxes are delinquent April 1. If taxes are not paid, warrants are issued and additional penalties, interest and advertising are added to total due. The Tax Collector may levy/seize and sell the personal property as required by law through a court order.

It is the taxpayer’s responsibility to notify the Property Appraiser’s office of any changes to the tax roll such as name, address, location, addition or deletion of tangible personal property.

For more information about Highlands County Ad Valorem & Tangible Property taxes, please visit the Tax Collector’s web site at:

Highlands County Tax Collector

The Highlands County Tax Collector Offices provide the following services,  you may visit their website for more information.

  • Driver Licenses
  • Motor Vehicle Titles & Tags
  • Ad Valorem/ Tangible Taxes
  • Disabled Parking Permits
  • Hunting & Fishing Licenses
  • Vessel Titles & Tags
  • Mobile Home Titles & Registrations
  • Garage Sale Permits
  • Florida Certified Birth Certificates
  • Tourism Tax Collection 

Contact Info: 

Website:   Email:

Phone: (863) 402-6685      Fax: (863) 402-6709

Office Locations:
Lake Placid Office
11 N. Pine Ave
Lake Placid, FL 33852

Sebring Office
540 S. Commerce Ave.
Sebring, FL 33870

Avon Park Office
116 E. Main St.
Avon Park, FL 33825


18 N Oak Ave, Lake Placid, FL 33852

Call (863) 465-4331

View All Events

We invite you to visit our Chamber office, also referred to as the Welcome Center:

Open: Mon – Fri: 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.