Florida County Property Tax Officials may not like the legislative changes of this most recent session.  However, after years of experience challenging property tax valuations before the Valuation Adjustment Board (VAB), the changes are a breath of fresh air. 

Removal of the “Presumption of Correctness” standard that previous to now had to be overcome will level the playing field and make it easier for taxpayers that are clearly over-assessed to get the relief that is due. 

That term, presumption of correctness, needs an explanation. What the Legislature did was to remove a basic tenant from Florida law.  Until the spring session of the Legislature, it was presumed by courts that all constitutional officers – sheriffs, clerks of court, tax collectors, election supervisors and appraisers – correctly followed the law. Challengers had to prove otherwise.

When a petitioner challenged the appraiser’s assessment of a house, a business, or a parcel of land, they were required by the special magistrate to prove the appraiser’s value was incorrect.

There will be no more presumption of correctness for property appraisers.  Now, if it goes to a hearing, the appraiser has to prove he has followed the law.  The appraiser’s word or evidence carries the same weight; there is no difference.

In our previous post entitled Silver Oak Issues Opinion on Florida HB 521, there were attempts by the Property Appraiser’s to insert language that would have taken away the appeal rights of business personal property taxpayers unless complex rules regarding compliance were followed. 

Additional language was inserted but not adopted that would have taken away the ability for taxpayers to hire property tax consultants on a performance based fee to assist them in challenging their property valuations.

Truth in Millage (TRIM) notices are scheduled to be sent out during the third and fourth weeks of August, dates vary by County.  You will have 25 days to appeal this valuation notice.

As Advisors, we promote pro-active compliance in which we review past returns for free, suggest new filing methodologies in compliance with the statutes of the taxing jurisdictions and suggest meeting with the assessors informally before TRIM notices are released in order to explain the filing methodologies to the assessor and gain their understanding and agreement.

Compliance is over and many States and Local jurisdictions are issuing valuation notices.  If you have any doubt regarding the assessed value of your property, have them reviewed before they become final and tax bills are issued.

We are providing a 30-60-90 day calendar to assist you in the upcoming appeal season.

When you engage Silver Oak Advisors you are guaranteed lower fees, higher customer service and greater property tax savings.