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Frequently Asked Questions
Broward County > Finance > Value Adjustment Board > Resources > Frequently Asked Questions

 

  1. Is the Value Adjustment Board (VAB) part of the Property Appraiser’s office? 
  2. What do I do if I disagree with my property assessment?
  3. Where can I obtain a petition form?
  4. Is there a fee for filing a petition?
  5. Is there any way to resolve my pro perty tax problem without having to file an appeal with the VAB?
  6. Do I need a lawyer to file the petition and attend the VAB hearing?
  7. Where do I find parking for the hearing?
  8. How do I prepare for my VAB hearing?
  9. What if I have a schedule conflict on the date set for the hearing?
  10. What if I change my mind and no longer want to pursue the issues(s) and have a hearing?
  11. What if I fail to appear at the hearing?
  12. Am I required to submit any supporting documentary evidence to the VAB and/or the Property Appraiser prior to the day of my hearing?
  13. What occurs during the hearing?
  14. When will I receive the VAB decision on my petition?
  15. What should I do if my taxes become payable before I receive the VAB decision (in other words, if I have not received the VAB decision by November and I want to take advantage of the “pay early discount”)?
  16. What can I do if I disagree with the decision of the Value Adjustment Board?
  17. Who may I contact if I have questions about the process?

    1. Is the Value Adjustment Board (VAB) part of the Property Appraiser’s office?
    No. The VAB is an independent board established by Florida Statutes (Chapter 194.015) to hear taxpayer appeals.

    2. What do I do if I disagree with my property assessment?
    For inquiries regarding your property assessment, homestead exemption or other determinations made by the Property Appraiser, contact: The Property Appraiser's Office. You are entitled to request an informal conference with the Property Appraiser. The informal conference, however, is not required prior to filing a petition to the Value Adjustment Board. If you disagree with the determination of the Property Appraiser, you may file a petition to the VAB with or without discussing the issues with the Property Appraiser. At any time during your petition filing process you may file directly with Circuit Court.

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    3. Where can I obtain a petition form?
    Petitions can be filed electronically at the Axia website. There is a non-refundable $15 filing fee and a convenience fee for the use of a credit card.

    Petition forms can also be obtained from the Property Appraiser’s Office (115 S. Andrews Ave., Room 111, Fort Lauderdale, FL  33301), or you may download them from the Property Appraiser’s website. Forms are free of charge.

    After you have completed the petition form, you must bring the completed petition form and filing fee of $15 either cash, money order, or personal check (payable to VAB), to the VAB office at 115 S. Andrews Ave., Room 120, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301. Please note that there is an automatic $25 service fee attached to any returned checks for insufficient funds, per F.S. 125.0105.

    Filings must be mailed or personally delivered, not faxed.

    4. Is there a fee for filing a petition?
    FILING FEES (Filing fees are non-refundable)

    Single petition $15 - Petition #DR-486   

    Joint petitions for more than one contiguous, undeveloped parcel - condominium, cooperative, or mobile home association if the Property Appraiser determines such parcels are substantially similar in nature.

    $15 for the petition (DR-486MU) and a $5 fee per each additional parcel. The determination pursuant to F.S. 194.011(3) (e) from the Property Appraiser must be filed with the petition.  


    5. 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. You may also, at any time during the petition filing process, file directly with Circuit Court.

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    6. Do I need a lawyer to file the petition and attend the VAB hearing?
    No. You are not required to use the services of an attorney to file your petition or to represent you at the hearing, although many taxpayers do so. The VAB staff will attempt to assist you in your appeal; however, VAB staff members cannot give legal advice.

    7. Where do I find parking for the hearing?
    There is metered parking available near the Governmental Center. The meters generally accept cash and credit cards and have a two hour time limit. There are city parking garages both one block east and west of the Governmental Center off Southeast and Southwest Second Street, respectively; they provide the best parking alternative.

    8. 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.

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    9. What if I have a schedule conflict on the date set for the hearing?
    Florida Statutes provide for one transfer/rescheduling of a hearing date if the request is made in writing and received by the VAB no less than five days prior to the originally scheduled hearing. Any additional transfer/rescheduling request shall be made prior to the date of the scheduled hearing and shall be granted only upon proof of: (a) death in the petitioner’s immediate family; (b) medical conditions which prevent the petitioner’s appearance; (c) jury duty; (d) time-certain court appearance; (e) prepaid travel plans; (f) emergency travel; (g) incarceration; (h) military service; or (i) failure of the property appraiser to furnish evidence as required in Section 194.011, Florida Statutes. If a transfer/continuance has not been granted by the Board staff pursuant to the authority specifically delegated by the Board, the hearing shall be conducted and a recommendation entered in the absence of the party. Documentation supporting the request for a change in hearing date is required. VAB staff does not have the authority to change hearing dates for any reason other than those listed above. Transfer requests should be made directly to the VAB, at 954-357-7205.

    10. What if I change my mind and no longer want to pursue the issues(s) and have a hearing?   You must file a written withdrawal notice with the VAB. The forms are available from the VAB office. You may email a PDF scanned image to VAB@broward.org or mail it to VAB, 115 S. Andrews Ave., Room 120, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301. If the VAB does not receive a written withdrawal notice of your petition, your hearing will proceed as scheduled.
     
    11. What if I fail to appear at the hearing?
    If you have submitted evidence and indicate on the petition that you would like your evidence considered in your absence, the Special Magistrate will review your evidence at the hearing and a decision will be rendered. However, if you do not appear at the hearing (and you have not properly obtained a reschedule or filed a written withdrawal notice) the hearing will proceed as scheduled and your petition will be denied. The case file will indicate that you were a “no show”.

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    12. Am I required to submit any supporting documentary evidence to the VAB and/or the Property Appraiser prior to the day of my hearing?
    Submit all such documentation to the Property Appraiser at least 15 days prior to the hearing. You will be entitled to receive copies of all the documentation that the Property Appraiser intends to rely on at the hearing. All such information and documentation must be transmitted electronically (PDF format) via email to the appropriate Broward County Property Appraisal Departments:

    The current, specific rules and procedures relating to the exchange of information and documentation between the Taxpayer and the Property Appraiser are pursuant to the provisions of Florida Statute 194.011 and Department of Revenue Rule 12D-9.020.

    13. What occurs during the hearing?
    If all parties are present and the petition is not withdrawn or settled, a hearing on the petition shall commence. The hearing shall be open to the public. The Special Magistrate shall swear or affirm both the Petitioner and Property Appraiser on the record. Before or at the start of the hearing, the Special Magistrate shall give a short overview verbally of the rules of procedure and any administrative issues necessary to conduct the hearing. 

    After the opening statement and clarification of any questions with the parties, the Special Magistrate shall proceed with the hearing. The first issue to be considered is whether the property appraiser’s representative establishes a presumption of correctness for the assessment. The property appraiser’s representative shall present evidence on this issue first. The Petitioner will then have an opportunity to present their evidence. After testimony is provided by both parties, the Special Magistrate will render a decision.

    14. When will I receive the VAB decision on my petition?
    If your decision was announced at the hearing, you will receive a copy of the Special Magistrate’s worksheet within two weeks of a decision being rendered. Formal decision notices are mailed at the conclusion of the tax cycle.

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    15. What should I do if my taxes become payable before I receive the VAB decision (in other words, if I have not received the VAB decision by November and I want to take advantage of the “pay early discount”)?

    Real Estate Taxes Should be Paid when Due

    INFORMATION ABOUT PAYMENTS                

    Florida law requires the value adjustment board to deny a petition if the petitioner does not make the payment required below before delinquent, usually on April 1. These payments requirements are summarized below.

                                 Required Payment for Appeal of Assessment

    For petitions on the value, including portability, the required payment must include:

    •  All of the non-ad valorem assessments, and
    • A partial payment of at least 75 percent of the ad valorem taxes,
    •  Less applicable discounts under s. 197.162, F.S.

    Required Payment of Other Appeals

    For petitions on the denial of a classification or exemption, or based on an argument that the property was not substantially complete on January 1, the payment before the delinquency date must include:

    •  All of the non-ad valorem assessments, and
    • The amount of the ad valorem taxes the taxpayer admits in good faith to owe,
    •  Less applicable discounts under s. 197.162, F.S.

    Any real estate tax refunds due to reduced property assessments through the VAB process are not issued until hearings are completed; decisions are approved by the VAB, and files are audited with the Property Appraiser’s office and transferred to the Revenue Collection Division where the refunds are processed. For further information, contact the Broward County Revenue Collection Division at 954-765-4697.

    16.  What can I do if I disagree with the decision of the Value Adjustment Board?
    In the event that you disagree with the final decision of the Value Adjustment Board, you may file an action in Circuit Court within 60 days from the date on your final decision letter. Such actions are considered de novo, or original actions, rather than an appeal of the VAB decision. Petitioners should seek legal counsel for more information.

    17. Who may I contact if I have questions about the process?
    The VAB staff line is 954-357-7205. The VAB Supervisor is Lynda Phillips. Her phone number is 954-357-7300, her fax is 954-357-5573, and her e-mail is lphillips@broward.org.

     

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