Generally, the Florida property tax system is an “ad valorem” tax system. This means that it is a tax that is levied based on the value of property, both real and personal. The principal parties involved in this system are the local Property Appraiser, Tax Collector and taxpayers.
Florida law provides taxpayers with four opportunities to dispute/appeal their property’s value assessment.
- Taxpayers have the right to attend and speak at public hearings where local taxing authorities consider the amount of the proposed property tax and millage (tax) rates.
- Taxpayers may request an informal conference with the Property Appraiser’s Office to express disagreement with the property appraiser’s determinations and to provide the Property Appraiser with evidence supporting their claim.
- Taxpayers may Petition the Value Adjustment Board to appeal a property appraiser’s determinations on value, tax exemptions, property classifications, and portability assessment difference transfers. Taxpayers may also file petitions with the Board to appeal a tax collector’s determinations on tax deferrals and associated penalties.
- Taxpayers may file a lawsuit in Circuit Court to challenge assessments. Such an action is a De Novo proceeding which means that the taxpayer must present their entire case from scratch. Regardless of whether they previously petitioned the VAB or not and regardless of the VAB’s ultimate decision. Petitioning the VAB is not a condition precedent to filing in Circuit Court. See section 194.171, F.S. A taxpayer is not required to file a petition with the Board before filing a lawsuit but there are important deadlines that they should be aware of. If a taxpayer has questions regarding filing a property tax lawsuit they should seek legal advice from a property tax expert.
Please be advised that nothing contained within this website or any of its pages or links should be interpreted as legal advice. This website is meant to be informative and helpful but it is not meant to replace the applicable Florida Statutes, Administrative Code and Florida Law in general. Much of this information is published in order to fulfill statutory requirements. If you desire legal advice please feel free to contact a property tax attorney/expert. The VAB cannot and will not provide taxpayers with legal advice.
- Two (2) members of the governing body of the county as elected from the membership of the board of said governing body, one of whom shall be elected chairperson
- One (1) member of the School Board as elected from the membership of the school board
- One (1) citizen member appointed by the governing body of the county
- One (1) citizen member appointed by the school board
The current VAB members are:
- Commissioner Jose “Pepe” Diaz, Chair
- Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava
- School Board Member Dr. Lubby Navarro
- Mr. Anibal Duarte-Viera, Citizen Member
- Mr. Hani Jardack, Citizen Member
The Clerk of the Circuit and County Courts is the Clerk of the Value Adjustment Board (VAB). The VAB considers and renders a decision on all Special Magistrate recommendations regarding 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 an 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.
- Pedro M. Alvarez
- Andres Amoedo, III
- Alberto J. Armada
- Mario De la Guardia
- Leonardo Delgado, Jr.
- Elie Edmonson
- Angel Fernandez
- Carlos D. Gobel
- G. Adrian Gonzalez, Jr.
- Harvel W. Gray
- Lillian A. Harrison
- Oscar M. Icabalceta
- William N. Jaeger
- Ena Jane
- Steven D. Johnson
- Mark Lago
- Diego R. Lopez
- Oxdiel Lopez
- Ezekiel Jeff Michael
- Jose A. Ortega
- Adrian Pena
- Joseph L. Petrole
- James L. Riley
- Sergio R. Sevilla
- Lee Smalley
- Philip G. Spool
- Zillah L. Tarkoe
- Gary Twist
- Jofre Valencia
- Perla F. Abrams
- Raul J. Garcia
- Davia Mazur
- Glenn R. Miller
- Claudette Pelletier
- Robin I. Willner
The statutory deadline for filing a timely petition for the 2020 tax year is Sept. 18, 2020.
In certain cases only a $5 filing fee per folio is required when joint petitions are filed by condominium associations, cooperatives and others.
VAB main office:
Value Adjustment Board
111 NW First Street, Suite 1720
Miami, Florida 33128
- All hearings are recorded on audio/visual, at a cost of $10.00 per agenda number up to $35.00 for the entire hearing date.
- Filing fee on single petitions appealing real and tangible personal property taxes (per folio), except petitions for tax deferral and certain homestead tax exemptions - $15
- Filing fee on joint petitions filed by condominium, cooperative and mobile home associations, and owners of contiguous parcels of undeveloped real property, per parcel maximum - $5
- Filing fee on petition for late filed tax exemption application - $15
Please Note: Due to COVID-19, VAB hearings are currently being conducted telephonically as per the Telephonic Hearing Procedures Memo.
Notice is hereby given that the Miami-Dade Value Adjustment Board will conduct hearings each day, Monday through Friday, except holidays. Hearings commence at 8:30 a.m. every weekday and take place at:
- Stephen P. Clark Center (Downtown)
- Miami-Dade County Courthouse East (Downtown)
- South Dade Justice Center
- North Dade Justice Center
For more information about specific hearings, please call 305-375-5641.
There are two separate evidentiary requirements that a petitioner should be aware of.
- Mandatory exchange with the Property Appraiser's Office Rule 12D-9.020(1)(a)-(c), F.A.C.:
(1)(a)1. At least 15 days before a petition hearing, the petitioner shall provide to the property appraiser a list of evidence to be presented at the hearing, a summary of evidence to be presented by witnesses, and copies of all documentation to be presented at the hearing.
(2) To calculate the fifteen (15) days, the petitioner shall use calendar days and shall not include the day of the hearing in the calculation, and shall count backwards from the day of the hearing. The last day of the period 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 previous day that is neither a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday.
(b) A petitioner's noncompliance with paragraph (1)(a) does not affect the petitioner’s right to receive a copy of the current property record card from the property appraiser as described in Section 194.032(2)(a), F.S.
(c) A petitioner's noncompliance with paragraph
(1)(a) does not authorize a value adjustment board or special magistrate to exclude the petitioner's evidence. However, under Section 194.034(1)(h), F.S., 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. Reasonableness shall be determined by whether the material can be reviewed, investigated, and responded to or rebutted in the time frame remaining before the hearing. These requirements are more specifically described in subsection (8) of this rule and in paragraphs 12D-9.025(4)(a) and (f), F.A.C. If you provide this evidence and make a written request for the property appraiser’s evidence, the property appraiser must give you his or her evidence at least seven days before the hearing. At the hearing, you have the right to have witnesses sworn.
- The Axia evidence upload, which is mandatory and different:
Separate and apart from the evidence exchange process between the parties; whatever evidence the parties would like to present to the special magistrate at the hearing, in an attempt to have that evidence "admitted" and considered by the special magistrate, must be uploaded into our new VAB computer system (AXIA) by 9:00 am EST the day before the VAB hearing is scheduled to take place.
The evidence exchange process happens outside of the purview of the VAB and shall continue to take place between the Miami-Dade County Property Appraiser's Office and the Petitioner, in the same manner as it has for years.
If the petitioner accepts the VAB's decision regarding the petition, no further action is required. If, however, the petitioner disagrees with the VAB's decision and wishes to continue contesting the PAO’s assessed value or their denial of an exemption or agricultural classification, the petitioner may request a reconsideration and/or file a lawsuit in the Circuit Court against the Property Appraiser's Office, in accordance with section 194.171, Florida Statutes. If a property owner does not file a petition with the VAB, a lawsuit can still be filed in Circuit Court under Florida Law. Deadlines for filing a case should be obtained from one's own attorney or the Property Appraiser's Office. The dates are different depending on whether or not a petition was filed with the VAB. Please note that the VAB is not a proper party defendant in such a lawsuit.
A taxpayer who is dissatisfied with the Special Magistrate's decision may request a reconsideration if they feel a mistake in law or fact was made by the Special Magistrate. Requests for reconsideration are governed by a memoranda issued on October 23, 2019. For a copy of this memoranda please contact the VAB. A taxpayer may also file a lawsuit in Circuit Court. This is not an appeal that reviews the Special Magistrate’s recommended decision. Rather, the taxpayer is starting from scratch with a new De Novo lawsuit. For more information pertaining to court filing deadlines for lawsuits, please see Florida Statutes sections 194.171 and 196.151, and confer with a licensed attorney (the latter statute pertains to Homestead Exemption denials).
Tax refunds resulting from VAB hearings usually take six to eight weeks from the time the hearings are held. However, during certain times of the year refunds may be issued earlier or later than usual. Please contact the tax Collector’s Office with any questions regarding refunds as a result of VAB hearings.