Property Tax Appeals: TRIM Notice

Beginning in late August most county property appraisers offices will begin sending out the TRIM (Truth in Millage) notices to property owners. The TRIM notice will reflect the local assessor’s estimated value of the property as of January 1. Florida Statutes require the Property Appraiser to utilize the following criteria when performing their valuation: 1) present cash value; 2) the highest and best use of the property; 3) the location of the property; 4) the quantity or size of said property; 5) the cost of the property; 6) the condition of the property; 7) the income of the property; and 8) the net proceeds of the sale of the property. The Property Appraiser is obligated to consider, but not necessarily apply, each of the eight factors. With the ever changing real estate market, it is necessary that you review the TRIM notice to ensure that valuation accurately reflects these criteria.

If you feel the TRIM notice does not accurately depict the current value of the property, you can challenge the Property Appraiser’s valuation. That challenge must be communicated to the Property Appraiser’s office within thirty (30) days following the issuance of the TRIM notice. The Property Appraiser will often meet with you in an attempt to resolve your concerns. Whether at a meeting with the Property Appraiser or at a subsequent formal hearing, it will be necessary to produce facts that support your claim for a reduction. Legal counsel can help you with developing and presenting the most effective information to accomplish this goal. The Property Appraiser will present facts which they believe substantiate their appraisal. Legal counsel can often anticipate these arguments and assist you with presenting evidence negating the appraisal. If you are unable to resolve the discrepancy, you must file a petition with the Value Adjustment Board (VAB).

The VAB consists of three members of the governing body of the county (county commissioners), and two members of the school board. They are charged with resolving any alleged discrepancy regarding your property taxes. You are required to file the VAB petition within twenty-five (25) days of the date of the TRIM notice with the clerk of the VAB of the county where the property is located. It is best to file your petition as soon as you determine that you intend to challenge the valuation to ensure your right to present your case. A petition can be withdrawn if a resolution is reached with the Property Appraiser prior to a hearing. The VAB will provide you with an acknowledgment of receipt of the petition, and you must furnish the acknowledgement to the Property Appraiser. The petition should include the approximate time you will need to present your argument to the VAB.

For more information or a free consultation contact us at rgarcia@raygarcialaw.com or 305-672-5007.