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History and Facts About Truth in Millage

In 1980, the legislature passed the "Truth in Millage" (TRIM) act. This law is designed to inform taxpayers which governmental entity is responsible for the taxes levied and the amount of tax liability owed to each taxing entity. The Notice of Proposed Property Taxes is known as the TRIM notice.

TRIM establishes the statutory requirements that all taxing authorities levying a millage must follow, including all notices and budget hearing requirements. These requirements were revised in 2007 to provide for maximum tax levies for counties, municipalities and independent special districts. For fiscal year 2009-10, and thereafter, the maximum tax levy allowed by a majority vote of the governing body will be based on the rate of growth in per capita personal income in Florida. Ad valorem taxes may be increased at a greater rate only with a supermajority or unanimous vote of the local government governing body.

The Notice of Proposed Property Taxes (TRIM notice) enables the taxpayer to compare the prior year assessed value and taxes with the present year assessed value and proposed taxes, and the amount of taxes if there is no budget change for the upcoming year. The notice lists the date, time, and location of all budget hearings at which the taxing authorities will hear from the public. The notice also shows the deadline for filing a petition to protest the assessment and any denial of exemption.

Taxing authorities establish the millage to be levied against the parcel of land shown on the TRIM notice at the budget hearings. The millage and budget hearings are the best opportunity for taxpayers to provide input into the budgets established by taxing authorities, and the procedures are monitored by the department to ensure compliance with the law. The hearings are designed to ensure taxpayer awareness of the proposed millage changes, the proposed budget changes, and, if any, the percent of change in the rolled-back rate. Rolled back rate is defined as that millage rate which provides the same property tax revenue for each taxing authority as was levied during the previous year (exclusive of New Construction, Additions, Rehabilitative Improvements Increasing Assessed Value By At Least 100%, Annexations, Deletions). Non compliance by the taxing authority could result in the loss of revenue sharing funds.

About the TRIM Process

TRIM process map