homepage logo

When paying your tax bill, earlier is better

By ERIC FEICHTHALER - Real Estate Law | Sep 24, 2020

Dear Mr. Feichthaler:

With property tax bills on the horizon, I was wondering if you advise your clients to pay in November, or wait until the last moment. And, when is the last moment?

— Jerry A.

Dear Jerry:

Now that the county, city and other taxing agencies have set their tax rates for the year, tax bills will be prepared and senttowards the end of October. Property taxes can be paid in November, and as late as March 31 to avoid delinquency. There is a major benefit to paying earlier. A discount of up to 4% is available if you pay in November, reducing by 1% every month through February. In March, there is no discount.

Considering interest rates at the bank, property owners have a major incentive to pay the taxes in November, whenever possible. For those that would like to spread out payments, the tax collector does offer an installment plan where payments are made quarterly. However, under this method, no discount is available.

Remember, although it feels like you are paying taxes for 2021, property taxes in Lee County are paid in arrears, or looking back. The tax bill in November is for the calendar year 2020, except for certain assessments like lot mowing and garbage collection, which are paid forward on a Oct. 1 through Sept. 30 fiscal year. I wish you and all of our readers the lowest bill possible!

Eric P. Feichthaler has lived in Cape Coral for over 30 years and graduated from Mariner High School in Cape Coral. After completing law school at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., he returned to Southwest Florida to practice law and raise a family. He served as mayor of Cape Coral from 2005-2008, and continues his service to the community through the Cape Coral Caring Center, Cape Coral Historical Museum, and Cape Coral Kiwanis. He has been married to his wife, Mary, for over 18 years, and they have four children together. He earned his board certification in Real Estate Law from the Florida Bar. He is AV Preeminent rated by Martindale-Hubbell for professional ethics and legal ability, and is a Supreme Court Certified Circuit Civil Mediator.

Mr. Feichthaler can be reached at eric@capecoralattorney.com, or (239) 542-4733.

This article is general in nature and not intended as legal advice to anyone. Individuals should seek legal counsel before acting on any matter of legal rights and obligations.