You Might Need to Appeal Your Florida Property Tax

Posted by Daniel Jones on Feb 4, 2019 8:51:00 PM

Houses along Collins Canal in Miami Beach, Florida.If you are a business owner in the state of Florida, you know that the property taxes you have to pay each year can be quite high, and you might not even realize if you are paying more than you should in Florida property tax. The property taxes can often be more difficult to understand because they are not assessed the same way as residential properties. If you believe that your property tax might be too high, you will want to make sure that you understand a bit more about how the assessments are made and what makes them different from residential assessments. You might also want to hire a professional to help you if you need to file an appeal.

Commercial Florida Property Tax

Each year, the tax assessors based in the county where the business is located will conduct a valuation of properties. With commercial properties, they will be looking at and valuing not only the real property, but also the tangible property. Real property would be considered the building itself, along with the land that the company owns. The tangible property on the other hand includes the furnishings that are in the commercial building, along with machinery and equipment that is used in the business.

As you can imagine the value of the property can change from year to year whether it is the tangible property or real property. Because of this, it means that there could be errors made in the assessment of the property if the Florida property tax assessor does not have the right information. The assessors will be looking at the value of the property minus exemptions, they will look at comps in the area to find the just value, and they will look at the taxable value when they are determining your tax bill.

Residential assessments are different. They only include elements such as the size of the lot, the number of bathrooms, the square footage of the home, and similar elements. They don’t worry about potential value because your residence is not a moneymaking property.

In some cases, the assessor might even base the value of the property on the potential value of the property when it is in its “best use”. This is true even if you are using the property for a different purpose and in a different manner. As you can imagine, this can make the Florida property tax you are being charged much different from what you believe you should actually be paying.

Why Should You Appeal?

If you are paying more than you should be paying and the value of your property is not as high as the Florida property tax assessor believes it to be, you need to file an appeal. If you don’t, you stand to lose a substantial amount of money during the tax season this year, and potentially in the future, as well.

Instead, you will want to make sure that you are looking at the paperwork that they provided and ensure you truly understand just how they assessed your property. You are looking for mistakes. Even though the assessors try their best to make sure that all properties are valued properly, the fact is that errors can and do slip through regularly. Therefore, it is up to you to be your own defender. You will want to make sure that you check for errors, or even what you believe to be potential errors, and bring them to the attention of the tax assessor’s office.

It is very important that you act as quickly as possible when it comes to filing for your appeal, as well. In Florida, you will have just 25 days from the date of the mailing of your valuation notice. This means that if you don’t file your appeal within that period, you will end up being required to pay the higher taxes this year. You won’t be able to do anything about your Florida property tax until the following year.

In some rare cases, you might be fortunate enough to contact the office and let them know about the mistakes that you believe were made. They might be able to confirm those mistakes quickly and get things taken care of. At this time, you can also ask for the property worksheet to see the figures that were utilized to come up with the valuation. You can look for any inaccuracies in those sheets, and then you can find evidence which backs up your claims.

While it can sometimes be possible to resolve the issues quickly, that is not the case most of the time. It can be difficult to understand exactly what the problem is right away, and you would be better off filing an appeal. Remember, you will only have a limited amount of time in which you can file your appeal, so you will want to do it sooner rather than later. Once you submit your appeal, the board will let you know when you will have a hearing, so you can submit your evidence. You have until that date to do your research and gather the evidence that you need.

Once you present the information, they will determine whether they agree with your findings of not. Even if they don’t, that does not mean that it is the end. You can still file a lawsuit within 60 days with the Circuit Court.

Type of Information Needed for an Appeal

Filing your appeal can be somewhat difficult if you have never done it before, and it can certainly feel intimidating. You may need to have different types of evidence and information available, such as photographs of the property, documentation regarding sales or tangible property losses, comps, third-party appraisals, and financial data.

This can be a substantial amount of work, and you will find that having some help from professionals who have been through the appeals process plenty of times in the past can make things much easier. Consider getting in touch with Fair Assessments, LLC.

Topics: Florida Property Tax Appeals

property tax appeals

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