Property Tax.JPGIn prior posts, we mentioned the basic timing of the property tax system in Florida. As a reminder, important dates to keep in mind are:

  • January 1: all property in the State must be assessed based on its condition on that particular date (I like to call this the “snapshot photo” date);
  • March 1: the general deadline to submit exemption applications;
  • July 1: local property appraisers generally have their values determined;
  • Mid-August: TRIM notices are mailed to inform property owners of their proposed assessment and tax bill for that year;
  • September: 25 days from the date of mailing the TRIMs, the appeal period expires if you want to appeal through the Value Adjustment Board; and,
  • November: taxes can be paid for the greatest discount.

Which begs the question, “what can I do now if I’m thinking about my property taxes but haven’t paid attention to these dates?” Here are 5 quick things you can be doing:

  1. Reflect: Think back to January 1st, and then to 2011 as a whole. Did anything significant relating to your property change in that period? Did you buy or sell real estate? Did you relocate from another county or state? Did you make any significant renovations or suffer any property losses? Did you rezone your property? Add or remove agricultural activities? Alter rental agreements? Any of these could require action on your part in terms of filing applications, providing notifications, or just preparing yourself for changes that might be in store.
  2. Organize: If anything pops into your mind after going through this first exercise, organize any paperwork that might relate to the event – appraisals, insurance documents, financial statements, etc.
  3. Research: There is a plethora of information available on the property appraisers websites, the Florida Department of Revenue, and often times web searches generally which  may help you understand the implications of any changes to your property and how it might affect your assessment and ultimate tax bill.
  4. Call: After you’ve determined whether you may be in for a change in property tax this year, call your property appraiser to determine whether any action is required on your part. If an application was required and not submitted, there may be opportunity for late filing if you can show extenuating circumstances. Or, if you previously received an exemption, it may have carried over without any action required of you. It is always best to check.
  5. Prepare: If you believe after going through this process that you are likely to have a dispute about the valuation of your property, prepare now rather than waiting to receive the TRIM. Again, have you only 25 days to file your appeal once the TRIM notices go out, so it is best to do your legwork now and avoid missing the appeal window.

It’s never too early to organize and start preparing. As always, we are happy to assist should you need legal advice or assistance in any aspect of property tax issues.