Florida Governor Charlie Crist enthusiastically signed House Bill 521 on June 4, 2009, a measure that will tip the scales of justice more in the direction of Florida property owners who challenge their property tax valuations. The goal of this legislation is to level the playing field and to ensure that the process for challenging assessment valuations is fair.
Prior to this legislation, Florida law left the burden of proof to the taxpayer and assumed that the Property Appraiser was correct. Under HB 521, the evidence is weighed based on merit. The person with the more convincing arguments and evidence will be awarded the decision (reduce the assessment or uphold the assessment). The burden of proof has been changed from “clear and convincing” to a “preponderance of evidence”.
This law will not affect pending 2008 property tax appeals but will be in effect for the 2009 tax year. Proposed tax notices (TRIM notices) are mailed yearly to Florida property owners in August. Assessment appeals must be filed within 25 days from the date of mailing of the TRIM notice.
Please call Mary Bonnell or Manny Ramos at 954-653-1496 to discuss further or to have your property reviewed.