How To Dispute Your Property Taxes
"In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes."
Benjamin Franklin - In a letter to Jean-Baptiste Leroy, 1789
I received an email from a client of mine who had purchased a home in Tallahassee back in 2004. Like many citizens of Florida, he is disturbed about his rising property taxes. His message was
Joe, do you have any numbers on property appraisals in our area. Our assessed value went up last year according to our Trim statement. Having listened very closely to what you have pontificated, I don't believe that's possible and in fact should have gone down from the previous year. Am I wrong? In the trim brochure it says that as long as the assessed value does not exceed the market value they have to raise the assessed value by three percent which is what it went up. What a bunch of c%*!!. I dearly detest property taxes!!
In order to help him answer this, I performed a detailed market analysis of the Subdivision in which he lives (Golden Eagle Plantation) for the purpose of identifying market movement. Most people who follow the Tallahassee real estate market are well aware that prices are dropping, however each price range and each area has its own performance level. The one factor that is fairly consistent across the board is that inventories are very high, prices are dropping, and we still have not seen the bottom of this Buyers' Market. My recommendation to all home owners is to hold their homes at this time and do not place them onto the market unless a sale is the only option.
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Under the Save Our Homes provision, the Department of Revenue together with the Governor and Cabinet require all Property Appraisers to raise the assessed value of homesteaded properties by 3% or the Consumer Price Index, whichever is less – essentially “recapturing” the assessed value savings resulting from the value being capped. This requirement, outlined in Chapter 12D-8.0062(5) of the Florida Administrative Code, is mandatory including when the market value of a homestead property has decreased. The only exception is when the assessed value reaches market value – assessed value cannot exceed market value.
Please refer to the TRIM brochure which was included in the mailing of the notices, and feel free to contact my office if you have any questions.
Thanks for the reply Bert. What if the homeowner can demonstrate that last year's assessment exceeds current market value? Would the assessment be reduced to market value or stay at last year's assessment?
We own three houses in THE HIGHLANDS (Off Kerry Forrest) The appraisal went up $5000 on each of them. If anything it should have stayed the same as last year. One is my residence and the taxes went down $200 The other two are rentals and the taxes went up $200 for each of them. Thank you again for your research!!! NM
Joe, I welcome all property owners to call or come in regarding any questions or concerns they have with their property, and we stand ready to make any corrections where needed. Please feel free to call or come in and I’ll be glad to discuss all of these issues with you.
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