Value Adjustment Board
Value Adjustment Board
c/o Leon County Clerk and Comptroller,
301 S. Monroe Street, #100
Tallahassee, FL 32301
Table of ContentsValue Adjustment Board Members, Special Magistrates and Hearing Dates
Forms and ResolutionsDR-483 Application for Abatement of Taxes for Homestead Residential Improvements
File Petitions Or Check Petition Status Using myVAB
2018 Petitions: You can file your petition online and pay by credit card. When paying by check or money order, you will need to download the appropriate petition form above and mail it with your payment to the address above.
Access to Prior Year Filings: Click the links below to access prior year filings. Contact the VAB clerk at the address above if you need assistance.
Value Adjustment Board Members, Special Magistrates and Hearing Dates
In accordance with Fla. Stat. 194.015, the Leon County Value Adjustment Board consists of two members of the Board of County Commissioners, one member of the school board, and two citizen members, one of whom shall be appointed by the Board of County Commissioners and must own homestead property within the county and one of whom must be appointed by the school board and must own a business occupying commercial space located within the school district. (Board members are listed on the County's website.) A citizen member may not be a member or an employee of any taxing authority, and may not be a person who represents property owners in any administrative or judicial review of property taxes.
The Leon County Value Adjustment Board will hold its organizational meeting for the 2019 tax cycle sometime between late June and early August. Hearing dates will be determined and special magistrates for those hearings will be selected and posted here for public knowledge.
Statewide Uniform Policies and Procedures
The three sets of documents described below are available on the Department's website at http://floridarevenue.com/dor/property/vab/.
1. The "Uniform Policies and Procedures Manual" for value adjustment boards, which is composed of the following items:Accompanying the Uniform Policies and Procedures Manual are two sets of documents:a. Taxpayer rights as provided in Florida Statutes and the recently adopted rules; b. The recently adopted rules of procedure for value adjustment board proceedings c. Recently adopted forms for value adjustment boards; d. Florida Statutes regarding value adjustment board procedures; and e. A notice regarding the use of case law.
2. "Other Legal Resources Including Statutory Criteria," and 3. "Reference Materials Including Guidelines."Each of these three sets of documents contains an introduction that provides orientation on the authority, content, and use of that respective set.
To assist the public and governmental agencies in understanding the requirements and exemptions to Florida's open government laws, the Attorney General's Office compiles a comprehensive guide known as the Government-in-the-Sunshine manual. The manual is published each year at no taxpayer expense by the First Amendment Foundation in Tallahassee. Click here for a copy of the most current manual. Florida's Government-in-the-Sunshine Law was enacted in 1967. Today, the Sunshine Law regarding open government can be found in Fla. Stat. 286, Fla. Stat. These statutes establish a basic right of access to most meetings of boards, commissions and other governing bodies of state and local governmental agencies or authorities.
A taxpayer may file a petition with the Value Adjustment Board (VAB) for the following reasons:
The Property Appraiser's Office is often able to resolve objections through an informal conference with the taxpayer. These informal discussions take place in the Property Appraiser's Office located at 315 S. Calhoun Street, 3rd Floor. The telephone number is (850) 606-6200. Persons wishing to attempt to resolve matters with the Property Appraiser's Office prior to a hearing before the Value Adjustment Board should contact the office to schedule a meeting. It has been the past experience of the Leon County Property Appraiser's Office that most objections are settled informally, eliminating the need for a formal hearing before the Value Adjustment Board.
Petitions to the Leon County VAB will be heard by impartial special magistrates in a quasi-judicial forum. Hearings are scheduled for 9 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the following days: October 19; October 29 - November 2, and November 13 - 16, 2018. Petitions are accepted in person at the County Courthouse at following three Clerk's Office locations in Tallahassee:
Fla. Stat. 194.032(1)(c)(2) requires that the petitioner be notified of his/her scheduled hearing date no later than 25 calendar days prior. Upon receipt of that notification, both parties have the right to reschedule one single time for cause prior to the date of the originally scheduled hearing (click here to submit that request electronically).
DEADLINES TO FILE PETITIONS
All petitions must be filed before the deadlines established by law. The filing date is the date on which
the petition is actually received by the VAB. It is not the date when the petition is deposited in the
US mail for delivery to the VAB. Filing deadlines are as follows:
NON-REFUNDABLE FILING FEES
According to Fla. Stat. 194.013(3), the filing fee must be paid when the VAB petition is filed or the petition will be considered invalid and rejected. The Value Adjustment Board shall waive the filing fee with respect to a petition filed by a taxpayer who demonstrates at the time of filing, by an appropriate certificate or other documentation issued by the Department of Children and Family Services and submitted with the petition, that the petitioner is then an eligible recipient of temporary assistance under Fla. Stat. 414.
PETITION CONTENTS AND INSTRUCTIONS
Addresses and telephone numbers of persons whose privacy is protected by the public records law as specified in Fla. Stat. 119.071(4) will be redacted if the petitioner notifies the VAB Deputy Clerk of that right. (See "Request for Redaction of Confidential Personal Information" form posted on the Clerk's website.)
When a single, joint petition is filed, Fla. Stat. 194.011(3)(e)(f)(g) provides for the petition to include a determination from the property appraiser that the parcels or accounts are substantially similar. If this determination is not included with the petition, the filing fee will be $15 per parcel or account. If the determination is included with the petition, the filing fee is $15 for the first parcel or account and $5 for each parcel or account thereafter. (Refer to Department of Revenue Property Tax Oversight Bulletin PTO 10-26 for additional information.) Petitioners are strongly encouraged to obtain this determination prior to submitting a single, joint petition by completing Form DR486MU and then contacting the Property Appraiser's Office to receive a final determination that the request meets the statutory criteria that allows for filing a single, joint petition. The mailing address for the Leon County Property Appraiser is 315 S. Calhoun Street, 3rd Floor, Tallahassee, FL 32301. To submit your list electronically contact the Property Appraiser's Office for an e-mail address (850-606-6200). After receiving the Property Appraiser's determination, file the single, joint petition with the Value Adjustment Board. Complete Form DR-486 with a completed Form DR-486MU that has been signed by a Property Appraiser's Office staff member. NOTE: Condominiums, cooperative, or homeowners' associations, as agents, should attach a copy of the Board of Administration or Directors' Resolution authorizing this filing. The Property Appraiser's Office staff will not file petitions on a petitioner's behalf.
With the exception of letters of authorization or powers of attorney that may be required, it is best not to attach copies of exhibits to petitions when filing. Any evidence presented to the Value Adjustment Board clerk or to the magistrate at a subsequent hearing is public record. If you choose to attach this additional information to your petition instead of exchanging it directly with the Property Appraiser's Office where it may remain confidential, be sure to review your evidence thoroughly for social security or federal identification numbers as these should be redacted from the public record in accordance with Florida statutes. The VAB clerk will review the information and make the necessary redactions. But petitioners should also perform the same review prior to submitting the documents.
Attachments to petitions will not be returned and should be identified with the property's parcel number and owner of record. Subsequent evidence exchange, if any, is handled directly with the Property Appraiser. Refer to "Evidence Exchange" below for additional information.
THREE WAYS TO FILE
|CUSTOMER PAYMENT AMOUNT||CONVENIENCE FEE PER PAYMENT|
HEARING RESCHEDULE REQUESTS
The VAB clerk will schedule a hearing date and time for all petitioners. Each petitioner must receive a written notice of hearing at least 25 calendar days prior to the hearing. The address used to mail these notices will be the petitioner's mailing address appearing on the petition form, or the email address if preferred by the petitioner and indicated on the petition. The hearing schedule should be followed as closely as possible without interfering with each party's right to be heard. If hearings are not started within two hours of the scheduled block of time, the petitioner can request to be heard immediately, have the hearing rescheduled, or withdraw the petition. Hearings are held in two blocks of time: 9 a.m. to noon and 1 - 5 p.m.
Both parties have the right, one single time, to reschedule a hearing prior to the originally scheduled hearing date, and the request must demonstrate good cause.Click here to submit reschedule request electronically and to see what alternative hearing dates are available. Alternatively, the request can be faxed or emailed to the VAB clerk at 850-606-4171 or LeonVABClerk@leoncountyfl.gov.
Florida Statutes provide that at least fifteen (15) days before the hearing, the petitioner shall provide the property appraiser with a list and summary of evidence, accompanied by copies of documentation, to be presented at the hearing. Even if a petitioner does not comply with Fla. Stat. 194.011(4)(a), the petitioner may still present evidence and the board or special magistrate may accept such evidence for consideration. However, as described in Chapter 12D-9.020, Fla. Adm. Code, if the property appraiser asks in writing for specific evidence before the hearing in connection with a filed petition, and the petitioner has this evidence and knowingly refuses to provide it to the property appraiser a reasonable time before the hearing, the evidence cannot be presented by the petitioner or accepted for consideration by the board or special magistrate. If the petitioner wishes to initiate evidence exchange, the petitioner should:
The Leon County Value Adjustment Board has an optional evidence exchange form for use if the petitioner wishes (click here).
Hearings before a Value Adjustment Board are not proceedings that require an attorney or agent. However, depending on the complexity or value of the property, petitioners may want an attorney or tax agent to represent them at the hearing.
After the hearing, and once the special magistrate finalizes his/her recommendation, and VAB counsel has reviewed it for legal sufficiency, the clerk will promptly send that recommendation to both parties with notification of the date, time, and place where the board will meet to review that recommendation and make its final decision. Parties are not required to attend these meetings; however, all meetings are open to the public. The Value Adjustment Board may adopt the magistrate's recommendations. However, if the board determines the magistrate failed to consider evidence or made an incorrect legal determination, the board can make a modified or different decision than the recommendation.
The petitioner or the property appraiser may challenge the Special Magistrate recommendation before the Board. In accordance with the local resolution, the challenge is limited to the factual record prepared at the time of the special magistrate hearing and no new evidence of a factual matter may be introduced. Leon's local administrative procedures also state, "Those wishing to challenge the Special Magistrate recommendation shall provide written notice to the VAB clerk of the intent to challenge at least five days before the Board meeting and include any legal argument the petitioner intends to present. Documentation the petitioner or property appraiser intends to present to the Board to support legal arguments should be provided to the VAB clerk at least five days before the Board meeting."
The clerk of the Value Adjustment Board will notify both parties in writing of the board's decision on a petition. The notice will explain whether any changes were made and will list the information that the board relied on, as well as the legal reason for reaching its decision.
APPEALING FINAL DECISION OF THE VALUE ADJUSTMENT BOARD
Petitioners may file a lawsuit in circuit court if they do not agree with the decision of the value adjustment board.
Parties that decide to appeal any decision made by the board with respect to any matter considered by the board will need a record of the proceedings, which record includes the testimony and evidence upon which the appeal is to be based. All board meetings are recorded; contact the VAB clerk, at LeonVABClerk@leoncountyfl.gov if a copy of the recording is needed. If a transcript is desired of the proceedings before the board the preparation of that record transcript is the responsibility of the appealing party.
Paying Your Property Taxes if You File a Petition with the VAB
1. Do I have to pay my property taxes if I file a petition with the VAB? See Fla. Stat. 194.014 for complete answers to this question.
2. What steps should be taken to obtain a refund if a taxpayer remits the tax payment prior to the VAB granting approval of the challenge to reduce the tax obligation? Contact the Tax Collector's Office at 850-606-4700 (or by email) to obtain the refund application. The refund will be issued to the party who remitted the tax payment.
3. If a taxpayer doesn't pay the taxes in the month of November, can the 4% discount be allowed later when the VAB renders its final decision? Yes, but only if the VAB rules in favor of the taxpayer (see #2 above for refund procedures if taxes are paid before the final decision is rendered). Taxpayers whose tax liability is altered as a result of the Value Adjustment Board action shall have 30 days from the mailing of a corrected tax notice to pay taxes. A 4% discount shall apply to such payments. Thereafter, the regular discount periods shall be applicable. If the VAB rules in favor of the Property Appraiser the taxpayer is not afforded the 4% discount if the tax payment is not made by November 30 (postmarks accepted).
4. Will a discount be allowed after the month of February if a taxpayer hasn't paid the taxes and the VAB denies the challenge? No. Discounts are honored if a tax payment is made between November and February. No discounts are allowed in March. The taxpayer must pay the taxes in accordance with ? 197.162, Fla. Stat. to receive a discount.
5. How will the property owner obtain a corrected tax notice if the VAB approves the challenge? The property appraiser will forward a certificate of correction of the tax roll to the Tax Collector for revision of the tax notice. Discounts will be applied, if applicable, and the corrected notice will be mailed to the property owner.
Please see the Tax Collector's website for additional information on tax discounts and other tax information.