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Fort Meade, Florida

Fort Meade (population 6,100) started out in 1849 and is about 50 miles southeast of Tampa in rural central Florida. It is surrounded by lakes and waterways, and its nearby Fort Meade Outdoor Recreation Area is a favorite launching area for kayakers and canoers.

The town has more than 300 homes on the National Register of Historic Places, with some structures dating from the mid-1800s. The Fort Meade Historical Museum offers trolley rides, tours, BBQs and educational workshops. Tall, thick oak trees dripping with moss dot town parks and neighborhoods, creating a soothing tableau.

Vacationers come to visit thanks to a Streamsong, a luxury spa and golf resort with 10,000 acres of rolling greens to the west of town. Legoland is 25 miles away in Winter Haven.

Real Estate

The median home value in Fort Meade is $136,554. This is a 9.7% increase over the previous year.

Estimates are that values will rise another 6.6% over the next year. Fort Meade is a seller's market.

The median rental price is $845 per month.

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Taxes

The combined sales tax rate for Fort Meade is 7%. This is the total of state, county and city sales tax rates.

Florida has a 6% state sales tax on vehicle purchases and Polk County tags on another $368 to $386, depending on the vehicle's weight.

The property tax rate is approximately $1,040 per $100,000 in assessed value. The taxes on a $136,554 home are approximately $1,415 without a homestead exemption.

Florida's property tax homestead exemption reduces the assessed value of a home by $50,000, so a residence that is really worth $100,000 is only taxed on $50,000. Residents age 65 and older who meet certain income limits may receive an extra homestead exemption of up to $50,000.

Florida does not tax Social Security.

Cost of Living

Fort Meade is an affordable country town. It is 31% less expensive than Charleston, South Carolina, 20% less expensive than Tampa, Florida and 24% less than Colorado Springs, Colorado.

The overall cost of living is 20% less than the national average. The median household income is $42,337.

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