It’s property tax season in Florida. Most, if not all, Florida Counties have mailed their TRIM notices to property owners. TRIM stands for Truth in Millage, and each TRIM notice contains a property’s assessed value and information about proposed taxes. Most property owners will find that their local property appraiser has accurately assessed the value of their property. However, depending on a number of factors, some property owners will find that the assessed value found in their TRIM notice does not match the realities of the real estate market. If you are one of these people, THE CLOCK IS ALREADY TICKING for your ability to contest the assessed value on your TRIM notice.
A property owner has 25 days from the day that the TRIM notice is mailed to file a petition to the appropriate Value Adjustment Board for a fee of $15. The purpose of the VAB is to review assessments based on information submitted by property owners and local property appraisers. The quality and quantity of the information submitted to the VAB has a substantial influence on property owners’ success rates. Case law, statutes and administrative rules can also influence the impact of information submitted. For this reason, it makes sense to consult with a property tax professional to ensure that the VAB process is time well spent.
In addition to filing deadlines for VAB petitions, there are strict standards for evidence exchanges between property owners and local property appraisers. Once the information is gathered and properly exchanged, both sides have an opportunity to present and explain their side of the story to a Hearing Master who then typically provides a recommendation to the VAB. For questions of valuation, the Hearing Master is typically a local real estate appraiser hired by the VAB. For exemptions or other legal questions, the Hearing Master may be an attorney.
The most important part of the VAB process is the timely filing of the petition. If you have a question as to the assessed value of your property, please contact our firm and we will assist you in evaluating the problem. If you have missed the deadline for the VAB filing, please call our firm and we will gladly explain what additional rights or options you may have.