A Brief Introduction to Florida TRIM Notices

If you’re a property owner in Florida, you should pay close attention to your TRIM (“Truth in Millage”) Notice. The notice is typically sent out in August and aims to forecast the value of your real estate property as of January 1 in the following year. The valuation will affect the property taxes you pay in November, as outlined on the notice. Because the real estate market has a tendency to fluctuate, you should review your TRIM Notice carefully to ensure the valuation is accurate. If any errors have been made, you have the option to review or appeal your assessment with the local property appraiser.

It’s important to understand that the property appraiser will not determine tax rates or collect any taxes. The appraiser will consider multiple factors before calculating the market value of your property. The criteria could include the location, size, condition, and income of the property, among others. The resulting valuation will be used as the basis for your tax millage rates and non-ad valorem fees, which are set by various government taxing authorities in your community. The proposed tax rates, and the authorities who set them, will be listed on your TRIM Notice.

When you review the TRIM Notice, you should consider whether the projected value of your property—not its current value, but its value in the new year—is accurately represented by the Property Appraiser’s valuation. Any missing or incorrect information, such as an exemption that isn’t listed on the notice, could lead to an inaccurate assessment. If you have any concerns about your TRIM Notice, make them known as soon as possible. You have thirty (30) days after the notice is issued to make a challenge and relay it to your Property Appraiser’s office. You should be able to meet with the appraiser to review your concerns. They will often explain the factors used to determine the value of your property and correct any visible mistakes.

If you still believe your valuation is inaccurate after speaking with the appraiser, you can file an appeal or petition with your county’s Value Adjustment Board (VAB). Any questions about tax rates and other fees can be raised at the public hearings typically held in September. You should consider retaining a qualified tax attorney to help you attend these hearings, file any appeals, and challenge your property tax assessment. Feel free to contact the law office of Ray Garcia to explore your options. An attorney with a solid foundation of legal knowledge will be better-equipped to help you gather the correct information and anticipate any arguments that may be used against you.