Well, it is that time of the year again…Each August, property owners are notified by property appraisers of their current year’s assessed and market values in “truth in millage” (TRIM) notices that also show the prior and current years’ taxes, with and without budget changes. As many of you have noticed, taxable property values are clearly on the rise.
As prices rise, taxpayers should be sure to carefully review their tax assessments. Property owners who dispute their assessments can appeal to the Value Adjustment Board (the “VAB”). The VAB offers property owners the opportunity to contest the assessed valuations of real or tangible property or appeal classifications, and, in case of disputes, the VAB serves as the decision-maker.
Petitions must be filed by property owners within 25 days of the August mailing of the TRIM notice, WHICH MEANS THAT PETITIONS USUALLY MUST BE FILED BY MID-SEPTEMBER. Coincidently, this is also the time of year when many Florida residents are on vacation. In the past, many property owners who wanted to file a petition were not able to do so because they were outside Florida making it difficult to get their petitions filed timely.
However, the VAB now offers an online filing form, making it easier for out of state property owners to appeal their assessed property value. Once a petition has been filed with the VAB, the process provides for a pre-hearing exchange of evidence between the property owner and the property appraiser’s office.
If the matter is not settled during the pre-hearing process, the VAB will set a hearing before a special magistrate appointed by the VAB. If property owners are not successful at the hearing, they may bring an action in Circuit Court to contest the adverse decision
As always, should you have any questions regarding the VAB appeal process, please contact your local real estate attorney.
This communication is not intended to establish an attorney client relationship, and to the extent anything contained herein could be construed as legal advice or guidance, you are strongly encouraged to consult with your own attorney before relying upon any information contained herein.
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