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The Florida Senate

2009 Florida Statutes

Section 197.122, Florida Statutes 2009

197.122  Lien of taxes; dates; application.--

(1)  All taxes imposed pursuant to the State Constitution and laws of this state shall be a first lien, superior to all other liens, on any property against which the taxes have been assessed and shall continue in full force from January 1 of the year the taxes were levied until discharged by payment or until barred under chapter 95. All personal property tax liens, to the extent that the property to which the lien applies cannot be located in the county or to the extent that the sale of the property is insufficient to pay all delinquent taxes, interest, fees, and costs due, shall be liens against all other personal property of the taxpayer in the county. However, such liens against other personal property shall not apply against such property which has been sold, and such liens against other personal property shall be subordinate to any valid prior or subsequent liens against such other property. No act of omission or commission on the part of any property appraiser, tax collector, board of county commissioners, clerk of the circuit court, or county comptroller, or their deputies or assistants, or newspaper in which any advertisement of sale may be published shall operate to defeat the payment of taxes; but any acts of omission or commission may be corrected at any time by the officer or party responsible for them in like manner as provided by law for performing acts in the first place, and when so corrected they shall be construed as valid ab initio and shall in no way affect any process by law for the enforcement of the collection of any tax. All owners of property shall be held to know that taxes are due and payable annually and are charged with the duty of ascertaining the amount of current and delinquent taxes and paying them before April 1 of the year following the year in which taxes are assessed. No sale or conveyance of real or personal property for nonpayment of taxes shall be held invalid except upon proof that:

(a)  The property was not subject to taxation;

(b)  The taxes had been paid before the sale of personal property; or

(c)  The real property had been redeemed before the execution and delivery of a deed based upon a certificate issued for nonpayment of taxes.

(2)  A lien created through the sale of a tax certificate may not be foreclosed or enforced in any manner except as prescribed in this chapter.

(3)  A property appraiser may also correct a material mistake of fact relating to an essential condition of the subject property to reduce an assessment if to do so requires only the exercise of judgment as to the effect on assessed or taxable value of that mistake of fact.

(a)  As used in this subsection, the term "an essential condition of the subject property" means a characteristic of the subject parcel, including only:

1.  Environmental restrictions, zoning restrictions, or restrictions on permissible use;

2.  Acreage;

3.  Wetlands or other environmental lands that are or have been restricted in use because of such environmental features;

4.  Access to usable land;

5.  Any characteristic of the subject parcel which characteristic, in the property appraiser's opinion, caused the appraisal to be clearly erroneous; or

6.  Depreciation of the property that was based on a latent defect of the property which existed but was not readily discernible by inspection on January 1, but not depreciation resulting from any other cause.

(b)  The material mistake of fact may be corrected by the property appraiser, in like manner as provided by law for performing the act in the first place only within 1 year after the approval of the tax roll pursuant to s. 193.1142, and, when so corrected, the act becomes valid ab initio and in no way affects any process by law for the enforcement of the collection of any tax. If such a correction results in a refund of taxes paid on the basis of an erroneous assessment contained on the current year's tax roll for years beginning January 1, 1999, or later, the property appraiser, at his or her option, may request that the department pass upon the refund request pursuant to s. 197.182 or may submit the correction and refund order directly to the tax collector for action in accordance with the notice provisions of s. 197.182(2). Corrections to tax rolls for prior years which would result in refunds must be made pursuant to s. 197.182

History.--s. 129, ch. 85-342; s. 11, ch. 88-216; s. 9, ch. 91-295; s. 6, ch. 92-32; s. 1, ch. 98-167.