Submitted by the Lee County Property Tax Collector’s Office
On Wednesday, Nov, 23 more than 538,000 property tax bills were mailed to home and business owners in Lee County. This information can be accessed online at LEETC.com.
These bills reflect the value of the property as of January 1, 2022, when Florida law required them to be assessed. They do not reflect any damage or destruction caused by Hurricane Ian.
Those whose property was completely destroyed or rendered uninhabitable by the hurricane will receive an extension on both the tax deadline and the discount period under the Governor’s Executive Order 22-242. If property owners feel they qualify, they must contact the Property Appraiser’s Office at leepa.org or 239-533-6100. Those who meet the criteria will have until May 31, 2023 to pay their taxes, with a 4 percent discount in November, December, and January, 3 percent in February, two percent in March and one percent in April.
“We know that many in our community have lost everything, and we are focused on helping them to make a path forward,” said Lee County Property Appraiser Matt Caldwell. “It is important that those who have suffered damage contact my office so we can take your information and keep you informed about any actions that could provide tax relief.”
If a property owner does not qualify under the Governor’s Executive Order, the Tax Collector has extended the 4 percent discount period until December 31, 2022, with taxes due March 31, 2023. Typically, that level of discount ends in November. Those paying in January will have a 2 percent discount, and those paying in February will see a 1 percent discount.
“We know that nearly all home and business owners in Lee County were affected by the storm in some way, and we are doing everything that we can to help them,” said Lee County Tax Collector Noelle Branning. “We are also working to be thoughtful of our taxing authorities whose resources have been depleted as they work toward recovery in the wake of Hurricane Ian.”
This year’s property tax collections are expected to be $2,060,969,659 before discount and any potential action by the legislature which may come during a special session in December. Monies collected are distributed by the Tax Collector to the taxing authorities in Lee County which pay for many services, including fire and rescue, law enforcement protection and infrastructure such as schools, roads and utilities.
By law, the Tax Collector is required to mail and collect property tax bills. Property taxes are payable anytime between now and March 31, 2023, unless you qualify for an extension under the Executive Order.
Property owners whose property taxes are paid through an escrow account should contact their mortgage company for information about the company’s plan for remitting escrowed property tax payments.