Florida law prohibits pre-paying 2018 property taxes

- There is a mad rush across the country for homeowners to pay their property taxes. Not just for 2017, but for 2018.

It's all because of the newly-signed tax law which puts a cap on how much state and local taxes may be deducted on federal returns.

While other states are allowing homeowners to pre-pay, it's prohibited under Florida law.

Despite that, local tax collector's offices are getting swamped with calls.

"We've had probably around 100 inquiries," said Doug Belden, Hillsborough County Tax Collector.

And as much as the tax collectors appreciate a prompt payment, "We can not do that," Belden said. "We are an agent for the Department of Revenue and it's all statutorily controlled. They tell us when we can pay taxes, how we pay taxes, how we conduct a tax certificate sale and we can not deviate from that."

Under the GOP's tax plan, which takes effect on Monday, state, local and property tax deductions, will be capped at $10,000. The current deduction is unlimited. This especially affects those who write off property taxes or don't itemize deductions.

According to the Hillsborough County Tax Collector's office, customers are unable to make "pre-payments" because 2018 tax values have not yet been assessed. They won't be payable until November 1st. Still, the Pasco County Tax Collector has gotten about 100 calls about it. Pinellas County is getting between 30 and 60 a day.

While Belden says we don't know the full ramifications of the new tax law, some areas in the county that will likely feel it more than others.

"I kind of know the geographics of where the high priced homes are located. Avila, South Tampa, Culbreath Bayou, Culbreath Isles. Those people will probably be the most affected."

There are still ways to save money. Tax collector's offices are urging homeowners to pay their 2017 property taxes on or before December 31. That way, you'll be able to take advantage of the 3 percent discount. 

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