Ad Valorem

A Latin term meaning “according to worth,” referring to taxes levied on the basis of value. Taxes on real estate and tangible personal property are ad valorem.


The dollar value assigned to a person’s property by the Property Appraiser. This amount, less any exemptions, is the basis of the ad valorem portion of the tax.

Homestead Exemption

If you own property which you use as your permanent residence, you may file for homestead exemption through the Martin County Property Appraiser’s office. Qualifying for and receiving this exemption could reduce the taxable value of your property.

Millage Rate

The rate of taxes levied based on a mill (1/10 of one cent), or one dollar per one thousand dollars of taxable value. A 30-mill tax rate levied against a taxable value of $100,000 would generate a $3,000 tax liability.

Non-Ad Valorem Assessment

Levies for special benefits to a property that must be apportioned fairly and not based on the value of the property.


A geographically described tract of land for which a deed exists.

Property Control Number

A 22-digit number identifying real property; a parcel number.

Real Property

Land, buildings and improvements.

Tangible Personal Property

Business equipment used in the operation of a business. Inventory, household goods, licensed motor vehicles, boats, airplanes, and computer software are excluded.

Tax Certificate

A first-lien instrument offered for sale by the Tax Collector through competitive bid to pay delinquent taxes. A tax certificate expires seven (7) years from the date issued.

Tax Deed Application

A legal document filed with the Tax Collector by the holder of a tax certificate to demand payment. The tax deed may be applied for two (2) years from April 1 of the year of issuance. If the taxes are not paid by the date set for the tax deed sale, the property is sold by the Clerk of Courts’ Office to the highest bidder.

Tax Lien

A lien for property taxes effective January 1 of the tax year. Taxes are due November 1 and are payable prior to April 1 of the next year.

Taxable Property

Real property and tangible personal property.