do you qualify for 2022 PROPERTY TAX RELIEF? Learn more.

TOP 10 THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT ROAD TESTS

top 10 things to know about road tests

Getting your driver license for the first time is exciting! The last thing you want to have happen is to have your road test cancelled or postponed due to a misunderstanding of the rules and process.

So here are “10 Things to Know about Road Tests” from the Lee County Tax Collector.

  1. Road Tests are given by appointment only and slots open on a 60-day rolling basis. So, if you want to try to schedule a driving road test on your 16th birthday, and your birthday is on July 12, you can schedule an appointment starting on May 12th. Please cancel your appointment if you cannot make it, so others can book.
  2. Road Tests are currently offered at our North Fort Myers and South Fort Myers locations. We are working with the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles to approve road test routes at other locations, so stay tuned!
  3. Arrive 15 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment time.
  4. Read the Driving Test Instruction Sheet prior to your appointment so you know what is expected of you during the test.
  5. You must have your own vehicle with proof of valid registration to test. The Tax Collector’s Office does not provide testing vehicles. 
  6. Candidate must have proof of Florida Insurance. No proof of insurance means no test.
  7. If you are under 18, you must have a responsible adult who is 21 or older with you. If a responsible adult cannot be present, the Certification of Driving Experience of a Minor must be signed and notarized.
  8. If needed, you may bring an interpreter. The interpreter should be fluent in English and foreign language.
  9. The road test may be delayed, or need to be rescheduled, if there is inclement weather.
  10. Remain calm and obey all speed limits and traffic laws. There are no tricks on the test.

If you follow these “10 Things to Know,” you’ll be hitting the open road in no time!

2022 PROPERTY TAX RELIEF INFORMATION – HURRICANE IAN

On December 16 Governor Ron DeSantis signed into law section 197.3181 Florida Statutes which provides for a prorated refund of property taxes for residential dwellings rendered uninhabitable by Hurricane Ian. The following information was provided by the Florida Department of Revenue to help homeowners understand the statute. This information is also available as a printable PDF.

WHO IS ELIGIBLE:

To be eligible for a partial property tax refund, the property must be determined “uninhabitable.” Under s. 197.3181 F.S., “’uninhabitable’ means the loss of use and occupancy of a residential improvement for the purpose for which it was constructed resulting from damage to or destruction of, or from a condition that compromises the structural integrity of, the residential improvement which was caused by Hurricane Ian or Hurricane Nicole during the 2022 calendar year.“ The statute provides that if a residential improvement is rendered uninhabitable for 30 days or more due to Hurricane Ian or Hurricane Nicole, the property owner may apply for a refund of a portion of their property taxes levied and paid for in 2022, for the time the property was uninhabitable.

HOW TO APPLY:

To begin the application process, home owners should visit the Lee County Property Appraiser at www.leepa.org to fill out the Application for Hurricane Ian or Hurricane Nicole Tax Refund form.

On the form, the homeowner must state the number of days the residence was uninhabitable and must sign a perjury statement attesting to it.

For the purposes of determining uninhabitability, the homeowner must provide supporting documentation, including, but not limited to, utility bills, insurance information, contractors’ statements, building permit applications, or building inspection certificates of occupancy.

For Hurricane Ian, the maximum number of days in 2022 that can be claimed is 95 days, and for Hurricane Nicole, the maximum number of days is 52 days.

The homeowner must submit the application and documentation to the Lee County Property Appraiser between January 1, 2023, and April 3, 2023. (The law provides a due date of April 1, 2023; however, as this date is a Saturday, the date is extended to Monday April 3, 2023.) The application may be submitted before or after 2022 property taxes are paid.

Homeowners are encouraged to submit the application as soon as possible. A homeowner who fails to file an application by April 3, 2023, waives their claim for a tax refund.

WHO DECIDES IF I AM ELIGIBLE?

The Property Appraiser is responsible for approving or denying a homeowner’s eligibility for a refund based on the application.

No later than June 1, 2023, the property appraiser must either notify the applicant of ineligibility or notify both the applicant and tax collector if the applicant is eligible for a refund.

Applicants found ineligible may file a petition with the value adjustment board requesting that such a refund be granted. The petition must be filed with the value adjustment board on or before the 30th day following the issuance of the notice by the property appraiser.

IF I AM APPROVED, HOW WILL I RECEIVE MY REFUND?

Refunds are calculated and processed by the Tax Collector and are to be issued upon timely payment of 2022 property taxes by the homeowner.

IF APPROVED, HOW IS THE REFUND AMOUNT CALCULATED?

The refund amount is calculated by applying the percent change in value to the number of days the residential improvement was uninhabitable. The percent change in value is found by subtracting the January 1, 2022 just value of the residential improvement from the January 1, 2022 just value of the entire parcel to establish the post-disaster value and then calculating the percent change in value.

Under s. 197.3181 F.S., a residential improvement that is uninhabitable has no value, although the land and other improvements, as defined in the statute, do have value. The statute specifies that “a residential improvement does not include a structure that is not essential to the use and occupancy of the residential dwelling or house, including, but not limited to, a detached utility building, detached carport, detached garage, bulkhead, fence, or swimming pool, and does not include land.”

For all approved refund applications, the property appraiser is required to provide the tax collector with the January 1, 2022, just value of the residential improvement (as defined above), the number of days during 2022 that the residential improvement was uninhabitable, the post-disaster just value of the residential parcel, and the percent change in value applicable to the residential parcel.

The Florida Department of Revenue has provided an example calculation for a residential property that was rendered uninhabitable.

Cape Coral office closed on Friday 12/16 due to State system outage

Due to a systems outage at the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, our Cape Coral office will be closed on Friday, December 16th. Customers with appointments may go to our office in North Fort Myers (15201 North Cleveland Avenue, North Fort Myers) or Downtown (2480 Thompson Street) where they will be assisted. Due to this movement of customers, we will not be able to take any walk-in customers at our Downtown, North or Cape locations today. We apologize for the inconvenience.

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