Cutting your Property Tax Bills

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It’s a late Summer  ritual all over South Florida: Proposed Property Tax Notices hitting millions of mailboxes all over Miami-Dade and Broward Counties.

It’s the first step in the process of setting local property tax assessments and the first chance for local property owners to double check their home or condos valuation and see what exemptions and credits they may have on their properties to reduce their tax bills. 

What you may be getting is formally called a “Trim Notices”.

That’s short for Truth In Millage and by state law, residential property owners have to be informed of their Property Tax Assessments by the end of August and have until September 19th to file automatic appeals to try and lower their bills.

The TRIM notices include proposed taxes including School Board Taxes and all the other fees that are included in our Property Tax bills.

But they also include any Homestead or Senior Citizen’s Exemptions which can reduce your overall taxes. 

Because of the continuing Real Estate slump in South Florida, overall assessments are down in both Miami-Dade and Broward Counties this year.

In Miami-Dade, the biggest drop in assessed value is in Florida City, with West Park in Broward still bottoming out.

But there are some communities where values are increasing.

In Miami-Dade , Sunny Isles Beach is seeing about a 3.8% increase and in Broward, Parkland Residents will see their assessments rise by about 4.3%.

The actual Tax Rates are set later in the Fall after formal hearings by the Miami-Dade and Broward County Commission.

So, how can you check out the bill and make sure you’re not overpaying?

#1; Make sure the address and square footage of your lot and home are accurate.

#2: Make sure to double check all the exemptions and credits you are entitlted to. If they are not listed on your Proposed Tax Bill, you’re probably over-paying.

#3: Double check the appraised value of comparable houses in your neighborhood to make sure you’re paying about the same as other houses that are similiar to yours.

#4. Pay Attention to Appeal Deadlines. You have until Sept. 19th to request an appeal and have it automatically heard. If you miss that deadline, you may still be able to contest your bill but they do not have to automatically hear your case.

#5.  Even if the Property Appraiser denies your claim, you have the right to schedule a hearing and appeal your tax bill to the County’s “Value Adjustment Board”.     

 For more information:

http://www.miamidade.gov/pa/property_trim_notice.asp

http://www.bcpa.net/trim.asp

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