How To Appeal Your Florida Property Taxes
In Florida, the property tax assessment is set for January 1st and adjusted once a year. However, there’s a way to reduce your total taxes throughout the fiscal year; show that you were overvalued at this time by proving it was too high of an estimate for what your property should have been valued at.
You will receive a TRIM notice sometime in August of this year. As soon as you get it, start analyzing your valuation and assessment to ensure they are accurate.
First, you should conduct a thorough analysis of your property. This includes reviewing the current asking prices for properties comparable to yours in your area and recent sales in your area.
Then, you should organize and prepare the necessary documentation to file a property tax appeal petition. Once your case is filed before the County Value Adjustment Board, they will set it for a hearing in the county where your property is located.
The Value Adjustment Board (the “VAB) is a government organization created to process the claims of citizens filed against the Property Appraiser’s Office regarding discrepancies in assessments on real estate and personal property values.
The VAB is composed of five elected officials, specifically three County Commissioners and two School Board members. One of the Commissioners is required to serve as the Chairperson. Before a public hearing on your property tax assessment, you should try to negotiate with your appraiser to reduce your assessment before an appeal occurs.
If you cannot negotiate a reduced tax assessment before the hearing date, you will need to appear at this public meeting and make your case for why they should reduce the assessed amount.
If your TRIM notice does not properly set the value of your property, you can file an appeal and challenge the Property Appraiser’s valuation. Please note that you must file within 30 days after receiving the TRIM notice.
If the petitioner disagrees with the Special Magistrate’s recommendation, a further appeal of their decision may be initiated by filing a suit in Circuit Court. The taxpayer must file any such lawsuit within 60 days of receiving notice about VAB’s record of its decision.
A property appraiser will present the facts and figures they believe substantiates their appraisal. An experienced attorney or accountant can anticipate these arguments and then assist you with presenting evidence that negates the appraisal. If looking for help to work through this process, don’t hesitate to contact us.