In Florida, property owners have the right to appeal decisions they feel are unfair. Filing a petition to the county Value Adjustment Board can be done in a number of circumstances including:
- When in disagreement with the property appraiser's assessment of your property's value
- When you have experienced a denial of your application for an exemption including as a homestead, as a veteran, or as a senior citizen.
- When receiving a denial of your application for any property classification such as agricultural or historic.
- When you have been denied your application for tax deferral.
If this happens, you can take one or more of the following steps:
- Request an informal conference to be held with the county property appraiser.
- File a petition with your local value adjustment board (VAB).
- File a lawsuit in circuit court.
Informal Conference with your Property Appraiser
Florida property owners have the right to an informal conference with the property appraiser. This is to review the value or application for the property's exemption or classification.
By choosing an informal conference, it may be possible to settle the issue without going to a hearing or court. At an informal conference, it is expected that you will bring documentation that supports your perspective and needed value change in the assessment. This can change your eligibility for an exemption or property classification.
You have the right to request the property appraiser display facts that support his or her assessment of your property. This includes facts that document any denial of an application for an exemption or classification.
The informal conference with the property appraiser will not extend any deadline to file a petition with your value adjustment board.
Petitioning the Value Adjustment Board
When petitioning the VAB, you will still need to pay all your non ad valorem assessments. You will also still need to pay the required part of your ad valorem taxes before April 1.
Descriptions of VAB timelines are available on the Florida VAB calendar.
Most counties have fast and simple electronic applications. Most of these counties have also placed appeal forms on their VAB websites. It is also productive to contact your county’s clerk of court to obtain them.
Florida property tax appeals petition forms are also posted on the taxpayer's form site.
In order to request a hearing on any of these issues you need to file the appropriate form which include:
- Assessment or denial of exemption or classification DR-486
- Portability of homestead assessment difference DR-486PORT
- Denial of deferral or penalties DR-486DP
When filing Florida property tax appeals, all forms need to be submitted to the local clerk at your VAB. Filing is commonly done in the court clerk's office.
It is important not to send any of your petition forms to the Florida Department of Revenue.
When Florida Property Tax Appeals Become A Lawsuit in Court
You have the right as a Florida property tax payer to file a lawsuit in circuit court. You are allowed to challenge the property appraiser’s assessment or denial of your filing for exemption or classification. It is not required to be part of an informal conference with the property appraiser, and it is not that you file a petition with the value adjustment board before filing any lawsuit.
Even if you meet with the property appraiser, and even if you choose to file a petition with the value adjustment board, you are still allowed to file a lawsuit providing you do so within 60 days of the date of your VAB decision or the property appraiser’s certification of the tax roll, whichever is done last.
For assistance with the Florida value adjustment board hearing on your commercial property value contact Fair Assessments the company with eight years of Florida property tax appeal experience.