Hurricane Season Prep – June 1 – Nov. 30

#HurricaneSeason starts today! June 1 – November 30

Prepare now by gathering your household’s important paperwork and placing it in a waterproof container or bag in a safe and accessible area.

Learn more at LeeTC.com/HurricanePrep.

Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday

 

water washing up on a dock

Hurricane season starts June 1 which means it’s time to review your hurricane plan and stock up on supplies. To help with that, consumers can purchase qualifying disaster preparedness supplies tax-free during the 2023 Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday. This year there are two exemption periods:

Saturday, May 27 – Friday, June 9
Saturday, August 26 – Friday, September 8

The Florida Department of Revenue has created a website that lists all of the exempt items and pricing. They also have a FAQ page with a printable list of items as well as phone number to call if you need additional information.

April is National Donate Life Month

This annual observance features an entire month of local, regional and national activities to help encourage individuals to register as organ, eye and tissue donors and to celebrate those that have saved lives through the gift of donation.

County tax collector offices provide many services to the community, including the issuance of driver licenses and identification cards, at which time customers are asked the powerful, lifesaving question, “Would you like to register to be an organ and tissue donor?” More than 90 percent of the over 12 million Floridians who have already registered as a donor, did so at their local tax collector office.

During April, Donate Life Florida, the state’s alliance of all organ, eye and tissue donor programs, will partner with county tax collectors across the state, including us, to encourage even more customers to register on Florida’s organ, tissue and eye donor registry – to Save Lives. Say Yes!

Of the more than 100,000 patients currently listed on the national transplant waiting list, approximately 4,900 live here in Florida. And many more will benefit from tissue and cornea donation. Individuals can register during their appointment with us or by visiting Donate Life Florida.

Lee Clerk waives 25% collection fee on overdue traffic tickets during Operation Green Light

Collection fees will not be charged March 13-24

Drivers with a suspended license or overdue traffic tickets may be eligible to get back on the road through the Lee County Clerk’s annual Operation Green Light event March 13-24. Anyone with cases in collections will be allowed to pay their court fees and fines without getting charged the 25% collection surcharge.

The event will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays at both Clerk locations in downtown Fort Myers and Cape Coral. Special extended hours will be held from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. Fridays, March 17 and 24 at the downtown Fort Myers office.

“Since 2020, this event has saved customers nearly $2.5 million in collection fees, and more than 2,500 people became eligible to get their licenses back,” said Kevin Karnes, Lee County Clerk of the Court & Comptroller. “Operation Green Light is the perfect opportunity for citizens to save money and get back behind the wheel.”

To take advantage of the offer, visit the Lee Clerk’s office at the downtown Fort Myers Justice Center or call 239-533-5000. Customers can also save time by scheduling an appointment online at leeclerk.com/appointment.

“Once drivers are in compliance with the courts, they can conveniently apply to have their licenses reinstated right at the Justice Center or Cape Coral branch,” said Noelle Branning, Lee County Tax Collector. “We are proud to partner with the Clerk’s office to offer our citizens the ability to get back on the road.”

Traffic tickets must be paid in full, but customers may enter into an affordable monthly payment plan for criminal court fees.

Customers can pay their court fees and fines to the Clerk in cash, cashier’s check, money order or credit card. Additional fees to the Tax Collector are required to reinstate a driver license. Payments by credit card are subject to a transaction fee. The Justice Center is located at 2075 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in Fort Myers. The Cape Coral branch is located at 1039 SE 9th Place, 2nd Floor.

2022 Industry Appreciation Award Winners recognized by the Horizon Council, Lee County Economic Development and the Horizon Foundation

Congratulations to all the 2022 Industry Appreciation Award Winners who were recognized by the Horizon Council, Lee County Economic Development, and the Horizon Foundation. A special shoutout to Vectra Digital which won the Technology Award and partnered with us to redesign our website LEETC.com! It was wonderful to celebrate the industry leaders in Lee County.

Tax Collector Noelle Branning with Board of County Commissioners Ray Sandelli and Cecil Pendergrass
Tax Collector Noelle Branning with Christine Brady, Assistant County Manager
IAA Award Stage
Vectra Digital winning the Technology Award.

Who to contact with questions about your tax bill

Real estate property taxes, also referred to as real property taxes, are a combination of ad valorem taxes (assessed value of your real estate) and non-ad valorem taxes (services or infrastructure that affect your property).

The Property Appraiser is responsible for determining the value of all property within the county, as well as any exemptions.

Taxing Authorities, like the Board of County Commissioners, School District and Water Management District, adopt a budget and levy millage rates to fund the budget. That millage rate is applied to the taxable value of your property. Taxing Authorities also determine the cost of non-ad valorem assessments like fire services and solid waste services etc.

The Tax Collector is responsible for printing, mailing and collecting tax payments after the Property Appraiser and the Taxing Authorities certify the tax roll.

Now that you know who does what, here is a breakdown of who you should contact if you have questions about your 2022 Property Tax bill. Please make sure to read through all of the information to ensure you are contacting the agency that can best assist you.

Property Tax bills to be mailed November 23

On Wednesday, November 23rd, more than 538,000 property tax bills will be mailed to home and business owners in Lee County. This information can be accessed online at LEETC.com.

These bills reflect the value of the property as of January 1, 2022, when Florida law required them to be assessed. They do not reflect any damage or destruction caused by Hurricane Ian.

Those whose property was completely destroyed or rendered uninhabitable by the Hurricane will receive an extension on both the tax deadline and the discount period under the Governor’s Executive Order 22-242. If property owners feel they qualify, they must contact the Property Appraiser’s Office at leepa.org or 239-533-6100. Those who meet the criteria will have until May 31, 2023, to pay their taxes, with a 4% discount in November, December and January, 3% in February, 2% in March and 1% in April.

“We know that many in our community have lost everything, and we are focused on helping them to make a path forward,” says Matt Caldwell, Lee County Property Appraiser. “It is important that those who have suffered damage contact my office so we can take your information and keep you informed about any actions that could provide tax relief.”

If a property owner does not qualify under the Governor’s Executive Order, the Tax Collector has extended the 4% discount period until December 31, 2022, with taxes due March 31, 2023. Typically, that level of discount ends in November. Those paying in January will have a 2% discount, and those paying in February will see a 1% discount.

“We know that nearly every home and business owner in Lee County were affected by the storm and we are doing everything that we can to help them,” shares Noelle Branning, Lee County’s Tax Collector. “We are also working to be thoughtful of our Taxing Authorities whose resources have been depleted as they work toward recovery in the wake of Hurricane Ian.”

This year’s property tax collections are expected to be $2,060,969,659 before discount and any potential action by the Legislature which may come during a Special Session in December. Monies collected are distributed by the Tax Collector to the taxing authorities in Lee County which pay for many services, including fire and rescue, law enforcement protection, and infrastructure such as schools, roads, and utilities.

By law, the Tax Collector is required to mail and collect property tax bills. Property taxes are payable anytime between now and March 31, 2023, unless you qualify for an extension under the Executive Order.

Property owners whose property taxes are paid through an escrow account should contact their mortgage company for information about the company’s plan for remitting escrowed property tax payments.

In the News: 2022 Property Tax Update

Thank you to our area media partners for their coverage of the important changes to 2022 Property Taxes due to the impact of Hurricane Ian.

November 17, 2022

FOX 4 – What you need to know as property tax bills arrive this month
FORT MYERS BEACH OBSERVER – Tax bills will include extensions for discounts, payments
WINK NEWS – Lee County property tax bills to arrive in the mail next week
NBC 2 – SWFL residents worrying about home value plummeting after Hurricane Ian

November 16, 2022

SANIBEL CAPTIVA ISLAND REPORTER – Property Tax Bill Deadline extended in Lee County

November 15. 2022

NORTH FORT MYERS NEIGHBOR – The Chamber Luncheon is back 

First Lee Tag Agency to close 11/5 & 11/12 for repairs

First Lee Tag Agency, located at Grand Bay Plaza 18990 South Tamiami Trail Suite 5, Fort Myers, is a privately owned business operating under the authority of the Lee County Tax Collector.

Due to damage sustained during Hurricane Ian, FLTA will need to temporarily close its office on Saturday, November 5 and Saturday, November 12 in order to make needed repairs.

Those with appointments will be contacted to reschedule.

Weekly hours remain the same (Monday – Friday 9am – 5:30pm) and Saturday hours should resume on November 19.

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