Q&A with St. Johns County Property Appraiser Eddie Creamer

Q: Can you give some background on tangible personal property?

A: Tangible personal property, which we call “TPP,” is unclear, confusing and even unknown by many businesses, especially small businesses. It is subject to tangible personal property tax, which is an ad valorem tax and applied according to value. All business owners are required to file a tangible personal property return that lists the assets used to run the business, including furniture, computers, printers and copiers. The value of these items, less depreciation as determined by the State of Florida depreciation tables, is taxed at the county millage.

Q: Are there any exemptions?
A: Each filer is entitled to a $25,000 exemption, which will be enough for many small business owners, but to get this exemption, the business owner must file a tangible personal property return at least once. If not filed, the Property Appraiser’s Office, which can match business licenses to returns filed, will estimate the value of the tangible personal property. Again, Florida Statute says a business must file a return to receive the exemption, so if the Property Appraiser’s Office estimates the value for the business, there is no exemption.

Q: When are returns due?
A: The tangible personal property returns are available on our website to be downloaded and filled out. By next year, this return will be automated and able to be filled out online. The deadline for filing is April 1, but if a business owner contacts our office, we will grant an automatic 30 day extension.

We have a lot of new businesses starting up in St. Johns County, including pressure washing companies and landscapers, who in most cases will be exempt — but they must file the return. Identical to real property, tangible personal property filers will receive a TRIM notice in August.

Q: What is the best way for our readers to contact you?

A: Our office is located at 4030 Lewis Speedway Ste. 203, (904) 827-5500. It is open Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. Also, readers can email me at Eddie@sjcpa.us or call me at (904) 827-5500.