The Truth-in-Millage Act, commonly known as TRIM, is a Florida law that regulates property tax rates and requires transparency in the property tax assessment process. Enacted in 1980, the purpose of TRIM is to ensure that residents are informed about how their property taxes are calculated and to prevent taxing authorities from raising taxes without public input. Here's an overview of how the TRIM Act works:
Under TRIM, local governments and taxing authorities must mail each taxpayer a Notice of Proposed Property Taxes by August of each year. This notice details the taxing authority's proposed tax rate (millage rate), along with the rolled-back rate and date, time, and location of the first budget hearing.
The rolled-back rate is the tax rate that would produce the same revenue as the previous year (excluding new construction and improvements). The proposed rate cannot exceed the rolled-back rate without a supermajority vote of approval by the governing body.
The TRIM Act requires taxing authorities to hold two public hearings before adopting the final budget and tax rate. These hearings allow citizens to review the proposed budget and millage rate and provide input. The first hearing is held in September, and the second hearing is held after the taxing authority calculates the final proposed millage rate. Dates, times, and locations of hearings must be publicly noticed.
After the first public hearing, taxing authorities must send each taxpayer a Notice of Proposed Taxes. This shows the final proposed tax rate alongside the rolled-back rate. It also includes dates, times, and locations for the final budget adoption.
The proposed millage rate cannot exceed the rolled-back rate without a unanimous vote of approval by the governing body. Any increase above the rolled-back rate must be prominently disclosed in the Notice of Proposed Taxes.
The final budget adoption meeting is held in September or October. At this meeting, the taxing authority officially votes to adopt the final budget and millage rate for the next fiscal year.
The TRIM Act provides an important system of transparency and taxpayer awareness around the property tax process in Florida. By requiring notices and public hearings, it gives citizens an opportunity to understand how their taxes are set and voice any concerns before the budget is finalized. For more information on TRIM or assistance with property tax issues, contact the knowledgeable Jacksonville real estate attorneys at Atlantic Coast Title & Escrow.