The Value Adjustment Board's membership consists of the following:
Two (2) members of the Miami-Dade County Board of County Commissioners
One (1) member of the School Board of Miami-Dade County
One (1) citizen member appointed by the county commission
One (1) citizen member appointed by 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. The primary issues to be determined by Attorney Special Magistrates are whether exemptions or agricultural classifications should be granted based on the evidence presented.
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. If the VAB reduces an assessment within the limits described below, then the Property Appraiser must accept the reduction and may not appeal the VAB decision by filing a suit in the Circuit Court. If, however, the VAB decision results in a reduction exceeding the limits described below, the Property Appraiser may appeal the VAB decision by filing suit in Circuit Court.
MAXIMUM ADJUSTMENT PERMITTED
$50,000 or less
In excess of $50,000, but not more than $500,000
In excess of $500,000, but not more than $1,000,000
If you are contesting the "Market and/or Assessed" value of your property, you must file a petition with the VAB no later than 25 days following the mailing of the Property Appraiser's "Notice of Proposed Property Taxes". (NOTE: Proposed Property Tax Notices are mailed the last week of August).
Petition forms are available at the Property Appraiser's Office and the VAB. A filing fee of $15.00 per parcel of property (identified by a "Folio" number) is required when the petition is filed with the VAB.
Note: In certain cases only a $5.00 filing fee per folio is required when joint petitions are filed by condominium associations, cooperatives and others.
If you are contesting the Property Appraiser's denial of your application for tax exemption or agricultural classification, you must file a petition with the VAB no later than 30 days following the mailing of the Property Appraiser's denial notice.
Note: Denial notices are generally mailed on July 1st.
After the petition is filed, the VAB will schedule you to appear before a VAB appointed Special Magistrate who will hear testimony and consider evidence presented by you 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. [Top]
Is there any way to resolve my property tax problem without having to file an appeal with the VAB?
Yes. You may 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 you should file a petition with the VAB. [Top]
Where will my VAB hearing be held?
VAB hearings are normally held at the Stephen P. Clark Center, 6th Floor, 111 NW First Street, Downtown Miami. Hearings may also be held at various other locations throughout the County depending on the number and type of cases filed. Top]
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 the petitioner may present evidence in support of his or her case. The Clerk will send the petitioner a written notice of the date, time and location of the hearing. An appearance by the taxpayer at the hearing is generally required, and the appeal will be determined by the Special Magistrate based on the merits of the evidence presented. Hearings before the Special Magistrate are informal. An authorized attorney or professional agent may represent a petitioner at this hearing, but such representation is not required.
At the hearing, the Special Magistrate will ask the petitioner to present evidence and testimony to support the appeal. After input from all parties, the Special Magistrate will make a written recommendation to the VAB; and the VAB will mail the petitioner a written copy of this recommendation within 20 days thereafter. Later, the VAB will also mail to the petitioner a final “Record of Decision Notice” after it officially adopts the Special Magistrate’s recommendation and certifies the assessment. [Top]
How do I prepare for my VAB hearing?
If you are contesting the value of your property, you should be prepared to provide evidence to support your claim, such as comparable sales, income and financial statements, appraisal reports, photographs, etc...
If you are contesting the denial of an application for Tax Exemption or Agricultural Classification, you should be prepared to show that the Property Appraiser's reasons for denying the application were wrong. For example, a "Green Card" can be presented to establish U.S. residency requirements for Homestead Exemption, and dated aerial photographs of farm crops may be used to provide proof of agricultural use in Agricultural Classification cases. [Top]
Am I required to submit any supporting documentary evidence to the VAB and/or the Property Appraiser prior to the day of my hearing?
You are required to submit to the Property Appraiser at a reasonable time prior to the scheduled hearing all documentation requested by the Property Appraiser, in writing, that you intend to rely on as evidence at the hearing.
In addition, if you submit all such documentation to the Property Appraiser at least fifteen (15) days prior to the hearing, then you will be entitled to receive copies of all the documentation that the Property Appraiser intends to rely on at the hearing. The current, specific rules and procedures relating to the exchange of information and documentation between the taxpayer and the Property Appraiser are substantially as follows*:
Special Notice Regarding Document
Exchange with Property Appraiser
Pursuant to the provisions of Florida Statute §194.011 and Department of Revenue Rule 12D-9.020, you are advised as follows:
If the taxpayer/petitioner desires to initiate an evidence exchange process, the taxpayer/petitioner must provide the Property Appraiser, at least 15 days before the scheduled hearing, a written list and summary of evidence, along with copies of all documentation, to be presented at the hearing. All such information and documentation must be transmitted to the Miami-Dade County Property Appraisal Dept. in one of the following ways:
Drop off at 111 N.W. 1st Street,
Suite 710, Miami, FL.
No later than 7 days before the scheduled hearing, the Property Appraiser must provide the petitioner with a written list and summary of evidence, along with copies of all documentation, to be presented at the hearing. The evidence list must contain the property record card if provided by the Clerk. In computing this 7 day period, intermediate Saturdays, Sundays and legal holidays are excluded in the computation.
If the taxpayer does not provide the information to the Property Appraiser at least 15 days prior to the hearing pursuant to #1 above, the Property Appraiser need not provide the information to the taxpayer pursuant to #2.
If the Property Appraiser does not provide the information within the time required under #2, the taxpayer will be entitled to reschedule the hearing. In such event, the taxpayer must notify the Clerk that the Property Appraiser did not fully comply, the details of such non-compliance, and request a reschedule in writing. After appropriate verification, the Clerk will reschedule the hearing. The taxpayer's timely submission of the information and documentation under #1 above shall qualify as a written request for rescheduling under #8 below even though the taxpayer's actual written request may not be submitted to the Clerk at least 5 calendar days before the scheduled appearance.
The documentation exchanged under #1 and #2 above must be delivered by regular U.S. mail, fax or e-mail, as may be designated by the taxpayer in writing. The date of transmission by e-mail or fax to an address provided by the addressee shall be deemed to constitute the date of delivery to the recipient. For such purpose, three e-mail or fax attempts will be deemed sufficient. If the taxpayer designates delivery by U.S. mail or does not specifically designate his/her desired manner for receiving the Property Appraiser's information, the information shall be made available for pick-up at the offices of the Property Appraiser at 111 N.W. 1st Street, #710, Miami, Florida, and shall be deposited by the Property Appraiser in the U.S. mail. The date of deposit in the U.S. mail by the Property Appraiser to an address provided by the addressee, shall be deemed to constitute the date of delivery to the recipient. The taxpayer and Property Appraiser may agree to a different timing and method of exchange.
In computing any period of time prescribed or allowed by these rules, the day of the act, event, or default from which the designated period of time begins to run shall not be included. The last day of the period so computed shall be included unless it is a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, in which event the period shall run until the end of the next day which is neither a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday. If the fifteenth day before a hearing is a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, the information under #1 above shall be provided no later than the previous business day.
The summary of any testimony submitted pursuant to #1 or #2 above must be sufficiently detailed so as to reasonably inform a party of the general subject matter of the witness' testimony, and should identify the witness with reasonable certainty (e.g. by name, address, profession, occupation, etc.). Use form entitled “Value Adjustment Board Evidence List and Summary for All Parties” to assist in organizing and submitting your information and documentation. See note below (*)
* These rules and procedures may change from time to time and, therefore, you should frequently visit these websites to verify the current status. [Top]
Can my VAB hearing be rescheduled to another date?
Yes. Reschedules are granted under certain circumstances for good cause, including medical emergencies, conflicting governmental appointments and death in the family. In addition, the taxpayer may reschedule a hearing a single time, without cause, by submitting to the Clerk a written request to reschedule, no less than 5 calendar days before the date originally scheduled for hearing. [Top]
If I file an appeal with the VAB, will I still be required to pay the tax bill that is calculated on the Assessment I am challenging?
The filing of this petition does not prevent the taxpayer from paying the taxes on a timely basis to obtain an early payment discount and to avoid the possible assessment of interest and penalties if the appeal is denied. Also refer to: Value Adjustment Board Requirement for Payment of Taxes.