Columbia County Property Appraiser - Jeff Hampton | Lake City, Florida | 386-758-1083
Columbia County Property Appraiser - Jeff Hampton | Lake City, Florida | 386-758-1083
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Property Appraiser’s Duties

The Columbia County Property Appraiser is responsible for identifying, locating, and fairly valuing all property, both real and personal, within the county for tax purposes. The "market" value of real property is based on the current real estate market. Finding the "market" value of your property means discovering the price most people would pay for your property. Determining a fair and equitable value is the only role of this office in the taxing process.

The property appraiser does not create the value. People make the value by buying and selling real estate in the market place. The property appraiser has the legal responsibility to study those transactions and appraise your property accordingly.

The property appraiser also tracks:

  • Ownership changes
  • Maintains maps of parcel boundaries
  • Keeps descriptions of buildings and property characteristics up to date
  • Accepts and approves applications from individuals eligible for exemptions and other forms of property tax relief
  • Analyzes trends in sales prices, construction costs, and rents to best estimate the value of assessable property

    All this must be done economically - for less than a tenth of what it would cost you to hire someone to independently appraise your property. In fact, the Columbia County Property Appraiser's Office uses nationally recognized appraisal systems and a Computer Assisted Mass Appraisal (CAMA) system to gather, store and analyze the large body of data necessary to arrive at a fair market value for each parcel of property in Columbia County.

    Appraisers are also assisted by our Geographic Information System (GIS) which helps us to provide detailed and up-to-date property ownership maps for field appraisers. The GIS system is updated daily to reflect new changes to the land in Columbia County. This information is also used to analyze property data and gives appraisers yet another tool for comparing similar properties.

    Annual Reassessment Requirement

    Florida law specifies that every property must be inspected at least once every five years. Staff appraisers physically inspect the properties to determine any changes such as additions, changes in condition etc. The results of the physical inspection are noted in the CAMA system and are used in the annual calculation of the appraised value of the property.

    The property appraiser assesses all property at just value each year. When you establish your homestead exemption, your assessed value is equal to your just/market value. Should the just value of your homestead increase, your assessed value increase is limited to 3 percent or the Consumer Price Index (CPI), whichever is less. This assessment limitation was created in Amendment 10 to the Florida Constitution and is informally known as the "Save Our Homes cap."

    In the circumstance where your market value declines, the provisions of the Amendment 10 assessment limitation do not continue to reduce your assessed value. Instead, your assessed value will be increased each year by 3 percent or the Consumer Price Index (CPI), whichever is less, until the assessed value is the same amount as the market/just value. The assessed value can never exceed just value (see s.193.155, F.S. and Rule 12D-8.0062 F.A.C.).

    Final Order Upholding the Validity of the Amendment 10 (Save Our Homes) Rule 
    This is the document containing the ruling by a Division of Administrative Hearings Administrative Law Judge upholding the administrative rule.

    Summary of Final Order Upholding the Validity of the Amendment 10 (Save Our Homes) Rule  
    This summary explains the Department of Revenue’s rule regarding increases in assessed value under the Save Our Homes constitutional amendment and the results of the 1995 challenge to that rule.


    In addition to determining values, the Property Appraiser accepts applications for and administers property tax exemptions.

    Several types of exemptions are available. The type of exemption benefiting the largest number of property-owners is the homestead exemption. If you own property which you use as your primary residence as of January 1, you may apply for homestead exemption. This will reduce the taxable value of your home by up to $50,000, resulting in substantial savings on your property taxes.

    Other types of exemptions include: religious, charitable, educational, veteran, widow, widower, blind and permanently disabled. Any new exemption or change in exemption status should be filed as soon as possible, but no later than March 1.

    The information on this website was derived from data which was compiled by the Columbia County Property Appraiser Office solely for the governmental purpose of property assessment. This information should not be relied upon by anyone as a determination of the ownership of property or market value. No warranties, expressed or implied, are provided for the accuracy of the data herein, it's use, or it's interpretation. Although it is periodically updated, this information may not reflect the data currently on file in the Property Appraiser's office.
    © Columbia County Property Appraiser | Jeff Hampton | Lake City, Florida | 386-758-1083 by (g4)