TRIM de le TRIM: The Importance of the Notice

Nothing in life is certain except for death and taxes. Here in Florida, we are at the beginning of property tax season. The TRIM Notice or Truth in Mileage Notice has been hitting mailboxes across Florida. And for those who recently purchased property or moved to Florida, this may be their first experience with a TRIM Notice. It is important to note that the TRIM Notice is exactly that — a notice, NOT THE TAX BILL; however, it still contains important information that a homeowner should review.

What is a TRIM Notice? 

The TRIM Notice is the document that breaks down how property taxes  are calculated for the current tax year (2022) by giving owners their property values as well as the possible tax rates (or millage rates) for the year. It will outline the  property’s just value, which is the value of the property as determined by the county (where the property is located) as of January 1st of the current year, as well as the assessed value for the property- which is the just value with any discounts and concessions factored in.

Why is the TRIM Notice important? 

Reviewing the TRIM notice is important for several reasons:

  1. Confirm Exemptions have been applied – this is an opportunity for a homeowner to confirm that any applicable exemptions have been applied to their tax bill. The homestead exemption is an important one to look for. Our blog on homestead provides more information on that process.
  2. Save Our Homes Portability Transfer – If you moved from one homestead property to another, Florida allows you to “port” your homestead savings to your new home. If you filled out the paperwork, review the TRIM notice to ensure it is accounted for. (more info on this)
  3. The Assessed value – Most importantly, once you confirm all exemptions and discounts are accounted for, you should review the actual assessed value to confirm if it is in line with your expectation for the value of your home.

What happens when you receive the notice and your assessed value is much higher than expected?  

Every homeowner can file a petition with the Value Adjustment Board for your county. Florida law requires that a homeowner file the application on or before the 25th day following the mailing of the TRIM Notice. Your TRIM Notice will outline the deadline for you to file your petition.

Keep in mind that if you bought a home in the last year, the TRIM Notice might not yet reflect the updated value of the property, and as such, your tax bill for 2022 may be lower than what you can expect in 2023 when the property is readjusted to reflect new ownership and values.

How will this impact my Closing? 

Property taxes are typically prorated at closing based on the current year’s tax bill. However, when the TRIM notice is available, closing agents can rely on that more recent information rather than the prior year’s tax bill; this may impact the credit you can expect to give or receive on the closing statement.

Section K of the FAR/BAR Contracts deals with pro-rations and credits and states:

Taxes shall be prorated based on current year’s tax. If Closing occurs on a date when current year’s millage is not fixed but current year’s assessment is available, taxes will be prorated based upon such assessment and prior year’s millage. If current year’s assessment is not available, then taxes will be prorated on prior year’s tax. 

When will I know what my final Property Taxes are? 

The Tax Collector in the county where the property is located will mail out a Tax Bill between October and November containing the final assessed value and millage rate. More information about the deadlines to pay your taxes can be found here.

We encourage you to contact your local real estate attorney if you have questions about your TRIM Notice or Tax Bills.

Sincerely,
Natasha Selvaraj, Esq. nselvaraj@berlinpatten.com
Natasha primarily practices in the areas of residential and commercial real property transactions.

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