• Florida Property Owners: A Notice of Proposed Property Taxes Will Be Delivered This August from Your County Property Appraiser
  • August 26, 2010 | Authors: Beverly Grady; K'Shana J. Haynie; Douglas A. Lewis; G. Carson McEachern; Robert D. Pritt
  • Law Firms: Roetzel & Andress A Legal Professional Association - Fort Myers Office ; Roetzel & Andress A Legal Professional Association - Akron Office
  • What to Do with the Notice
    Immediately open the Notice of Proposed Property Taxes ("Notice"), examine its contents for accuracy, and note that it may look different and contain different information than in prior years. The different look is due to Florida House Bill 701, which became effective on January 1, 2010, and requires the Notice to contain 7 column headings which include:

    • Taxing Authority
    • Your Property Taxes Last Year
    • Last Year's Adjusted Tax Rate (Millage)
    • Your Taxes This Year IF NO Budget Change Is Adopted
    • Tax Rate This Year IF PROPOSED Budget Is Adopted (Millage)
    • Your Taxes This Year IF PROPOSED Budget Change is Adopted
    • A Public Hearing on the Property Taxes and Budget Will be Held

    Closely review the second page of the Notice which provides the property's market value and the ad valorem tax against the property. The Notice should clearly state the assessed value, the value of exemptions and taxable value for both the current and previous tax year.

    Accuracy of Market/Assessed Value
    Keep in mind that the county property appraiser assessed the market value of your property as of January 1, 2010; therefore, the value reflected is what the county property appraiser has deemed the market value of your property as of that date.

    After review of the market value and exemptions, if you believe the market value of your property is unfair, you may attempt to resolve the matter with your county property appraiser and/or challenge the valuation by filing a petition to the Value Adjustment Board. The deadline for filing the petition will be the date specified in the Notice (in September 2010) and differs from county to county. It is imperative that this deadline not be missed or you will be precluded from challenging the property appraiser's valuation.

    As of 2009, the county property appraiser is no longer afforded the presumption of correctness in a challenge to the Value Adjustment Board. The property appraiser must prove by preponderance of the evidence that the market value was determined by complying with the statute and applying professionally accepted appraisal practices.

    Accuracy of Property Taxes
    If your assessed value looks accurate, however, the proposed total property tax appears high, consider attending the public hearings on proposed budget changes. You cannot appeal your tax rate through the Value Adjustment Board process (mentioned above); only the market/assessed value of your property may be appealed through this process.

    Recent Changes that Might Affect Your Market Value
    There have been several recent changes in the law that may affect the market value of your property:

    Working Waterfronts
    Effective this 2010 tax year, assessments of specific working waterfront properties are required to be based upon the current use of the property. Working waterfront properties include:

    • land used predominantly for commercial fishing purposes;
    • land that is accessible to the public and used for vessel launches into navigable waters;
    • marinas and drystacks that are open to the public; and
    • water-dependent marine manufacturing facilities, commercial fishing facilities, and marine vessel construction and repair facilities and their support activities.

    BP Oil Spill
    Florida Governor Charlie Crist issued Executive Order 10-132 on June 18, 2010 extending the state of emergency due to the threat of oil leaking from the Deepwater Horizon well poses to the State of Florida, specific to the following counties: Broward, Charlotte, Citrus, Collier, Dade, Dixie, Escambia, Franklin, Gulf, Hernando, Hillsborough, Jefferson, Lee, Levy, Manatee, Monroe, Okaloosa, Palm Beach, Pasco, Pinellas, Santa Rosa, Sarasota, Taylor, Wakulla, Walton Bay.

    On July 21, 2010, Governor Crist executed Executive Order 10-169, which authorizes all property appraisers in the affected counties to provide interim assessments of any real property in the affected county that may have suffered a loss in value as a result of the oil spill, according to its market value on any date after the oil spill in 2010.

    It is important to note that Executive Order 10-169, likely will not affect your 2010 market value because the oil spill occurred after January 1, 2010 (the date upon which the County evaluates the assessed value for the 2010 tax year). Nonetheless, the property appraiser is encouraged, although not required, to provide interim assessments for affected properties. Such interim assessments may not be petitioned to the Value Adjustment Board.