FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

“tax savings are guaranteed or you pay nothing”

www.propertyappeals.net   

A property owner’s best address

305-772-6688

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS


1.  How do I go about appealing my property taxes?


Send us an e-mail or call us with your property addresses.  You can also fill out the form at our Sign Up page and mail it along with a $35 check for filing and processing to us.  You can also access an Contingent Fee Agreement printer friendly agreement. We will respond with a confirmation, and your appeal will be filed. 


2.  How much do your services cost? 


There is no charge for our Property Tax Consultancy services other than the $35 filing & processing fee, unless we lower your taxes.  If we are able to lower your taxes, then our fee is 25% of the tax saving refund.


3.  What are the Deadlines?


Deadline to appeal is September, but there are ways to file an appeal after the deadline.


After the petition is filed, the VAB will schedule our office to appear before a VAB appointed Special Magistrate who will hear testimony and consider evidence presented by us and the Property Appraiser's representative. After the hearing, the Special Magistrate will make a recommendation to the VAB as to whether or not an adjustment to your tax assessment should be granted, and the VAB will later consider and act on the Special Magistrate's recommendation without further hearing. The hearings are scheduled by the County, and it may take many months, or over a year to get a hearing date.


4.  What is the "Value Adjustment Board?"


The Value Adjustment Board's membership consists of the following:


    * Three (3) members of the County Board of County Commissioners

    * Two (2) members of the School Board


The Clerk of the Circuit and County Courts is the Clerk of the Value Adjustment Board (VAB). The VAB as a panel considers and renders a decision on all appeals of property assessed values, classifications and exemptions. The VAB has no jurisdiction or control over taxes or tax rates established by Taxing Authorities. The VAB's primary function is to hear evidence as to whether or not properties, petitioned for their consideration, are assessed at their proper value and/or whether tax exemptions or agricultural classifications should be approved. The VAB cannot change your assessed value or grant an exemption or agricultural classification for any other reason, such as inability to pay.


To assist the VAB, the VAB appoints Special Magistrates who are either qualified real estate appraisers, personal property appraisers, or attorneys, to conduct hearings and make recommendations to the VAB on all petitions. The primary issue for an Appraiser Special Magistrate to decide is whether or not the assessed value of the petitioned property exceeds its actual market value as of JANUARY 1ST of the relevant tax year.


Both the VAB and the Special Magistrates are independent of the Property Appraiser's Office. In fact, the Property Appraiser is merely another party before the VAB or the Special Magistrate, just as is the petitioner (taxpayer).


If the VAB decides that it does not agree with the Property Appraiser's Office regarding the assessed value of a petitioner's property, the VAB has the authority to reduce the property’s assessed value to its actual fair market value.


5. Is there any way to resolve my property tax problem without having to file an appeal with the VAB?


Yes. If we think it is possible to resolve quickly, we will request an informal conference with a representative from the Property Appraiser's Office to discuss the problem. If it is determined that an obvious error of "Omission" or "Commission" was made by the Property Appraiser's Office, the error can be corrected without having to file a petition with the VAB. However, if it is determined that no such error was made, and it is just a matter of a "Difference of Opinion" as to what the Market and/or Assessed value of your property should be, then we will file a petition with the VAB.


6.  Do I have to attend the VAB hearing? When will it be scheduled?


You don’t have to do anything once you sign up for our services.  We represent you as a Property Tax Consultant at all meetings and Hearings.

The Counties are backed up on Hearings from last year. The Counties schedule the Hearings, and we have no control over that.  We will notify you once a Hearing Date is scheduled, but that could take many months, and it could be over a year!


7. What happens at the hearing?


First, the Clerk of the VAB will schedule each petitioned property for a hearing at a certain date and time, during which hearing we will present evidence in support of your case.  The appeal will be determined by the Special Magistrate based on the merits of the evidence presented. We attend for you, so there is nothing for you to do.


At the hearing, the Special Magistrate will ask us to present evidence and testimony to support your appeal. After input from all parties, the Special Magistrate will make a written recommendation to the VAB; and the VAB will mail us a written copy of this recommendation within 20 days thereafter. Later, the VAB will also mail us a final “Record of Decision Notice” after it officially adopts the Special Magistrate’s recommendation and certifies the assessment.


8. Why did my taxes increase this year?


There are various reasons why taxes increase. The most common reason is a general rise in real estate market values. As property values appreciate, property taxes tend to increase proportionately. Of course, the loss of a Tax Exemption will also impact the amount of your property taxes. 


9. Why was my Homestead Tax Exemption removed this year?


The most common reason occurs when the Property Appraiser mails his notice of renewal of Homestead Exemption to taxpayers and said notice is not delivered due to the taxpayer's filing of a forwarding address with the Post Office. (NOTE: This notice is not forwardable to a new address, so don’t forward your mail, if you want to keep your Homestead!). The Homestead Exemption is automatically revoked if the taxpayer's notice is returned undelivered, and the taxpayer also fails to respond to a follow up questionnaire asking why the address was changed and whether or not the taxpayer is still entitled to Homestead Exemption. This questionnaire is forwardable by the Post Office.  Contact the Property Appraiser directly, if you have a Homestead issue; we focus solely on Property Taxes.


10. If you win my case, how long do I have to wait for a refund of my Property Taxes ?


Tax refunds resulting from VAB hearings are taking over six months after the hearings are held. However, during certain times of the year refunds may be issued earlier or later than usual.  You can always call the Tax Collector in your county to check on your refund; they will need your property folio number.  Note: Call and Complain to the Tax Collector, if it has been over 3 months!


11. If you succeed in getting my taxes lowered this year, will my taxes remain the same next year?


No! The Property Appraiser is required by law to assess your property on an annual basis as of January 1st. As such, there can be no guarantee that your taxes will remain unchanged, and a lot of times, your taxes go right back up.


12. Where do I appeal if I am dissatisfied with the decision of the VAB in my case and what is the deadline for filing the appeal?


Taxpayers desiring to appeal VAB decisions as to the assessed value of properties, exemptions (other than homestead exemptions) or agricultural classifications, must file suit in Circuit Court no later than 60 days following the mailing of the VAB's notices of record of decision. These notices are sent to petitioners via US. Mail after all the VAB hearings have been held and the related tax rolls are certified.


13. If a new deed is filed on my property which changes the name(s) of the owner, do I have to re-apply for Homestead Exemption?


Yes. Even if you just add a middle initial to your name on the deed, the Property Appraiser treats this as a change of ownership, which requires you to file a new application for Homestead Exemption. Note: this is the official statement, but should be discussed directly with your Property Appraiser.


14. Can I still file for my property tax exemption after the statutory deadline?


If you missed the statutory deadline to file for any type of property tax exemption or agricultural classification, you may file a petition with the VAB to show extenuating circumstances for late filing, so yes, you can still file.   Contact us for info.


15. Why does my refund take so long to get to me?


The Dade County Tax Collector takes a long time (3-6 months) to refund your taxes, after we are successful at reducing your value. Remember, it is the Tax Collector, not the Property Appraiser, that refunds your tax money. The refund goes to whomever paid the taxes. So if your mortgage company pays the taxes out of your escrow account, then the refund check will be sent to them. We have no control, and no information, about your receipt of the refund. If you have questions about your refund, send a letter or email to the Dade County Tax Collector. Include your Folio # in the correspondence. The email is:  proptax@miamidade.gov, and/or the address is: Dade County Tax Collector, 140 West Flagler, 14th Floor, Miami, FL  33130. Their tel # is:  305-375-5452.




Florida Property Tax Appeals, LLC

Property Tax Consultants

575 Lakeview Dr, Miami Beach, FL  33140

Tax123@me.com

305-675-3109  fax

305-772-6688 office



OUR MOTTO:

“TAX savings are guaranteed, or you pay nothing.”

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