Every year, property owners receive a Notice of Proposed Property Taxes from the Miami-Dade Property Appraiser, listing the total of Ad Valorem and non-Ad Valorem property taxes to be paid. These property taxes are based on the assessed value of the property, as determined by the Property Appraiser every January 1st. Sometimes, however, the value of the property is listed too low, affecting a property’s resale value, or too high, leaving an owner paying an exorbitant amount of taxes. In response, the county has established the Value Adjustment Board (VAB), an administrative body that receives petitions and conducts hearings for taxpayers who are challenging the value of their real estate.
How do you file a petition?
Petitions can be filed online, by mail or in person at the VAB offices in the Downtown and South Dade Government Center. You must file the petition no later than twenty-five (25) days following the mailing of the Notice of Proposed Property Taxes. There is a filing fee of $15.00 per parcel of property.
What if I filed the petition after the 25 days?
If you miss the deadline for filing the petition, you must first file a Late Exemption Application with the Property Appraiser’s Office, showing extenuating circumstances for the late filing. The application must first be approved by the Property Appraiser’s Office before you can submit your petition to the VAB.
What happens after I file the petition?
A hearing will be scheduled where you will be able to present testimony and evidence to support your position and appeal. The hearings are held by a Special Magistrate not employed by the Property Appraiser’s Office. Before the scheduled hearing, you must provide to the Property Appraiser all documentation that you plan on using as evidence at the hearing. If you send your documentation to the Property Appraiser at least fifteen (15) days before the hearing, you will be entitled to receive copies of all the evidence the Property Appraiser intends to use in the hearing.
What happens after the hearing?
After hearing from all the parties, the Special Magistrate will make a written recommendation to the VAB, which the VAB will send a copy of to the taxpayer within twenty (20) days. Then, the VAB will mail to the taxpayer a final decision from their office. If the VAB finds that the assessed value of the property is improper, the VAB has the power to reduce the assessed value to the correct fair market value. It is important to note that filing a petition does NOT excuse you from paying the property taxes, and you will be required to pay the taxes while the petition and hearing are ongoing.
If you win your case with the VAB, you may be entitled to a tax refund for the amount you paid on the property only if the VAB reduces the assessed value of the property. If you disagree with the VAB’s decision, you may file a lawsuit in the Circuit Court.
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Preparing a complete and accurate petition is important for a successful appeal to the Value Adjustment Board. If you feel your property taxes are incorrect, or would like more information on initiating a petition, give us a call today. We are located in sunny Coral Gables and can be reached by calling (786) 837-6787 or by emailing us to schedule a consultation with you.