Posted on September 06, 2022 in: Guest Column
The Citrus County Property Appraiser’s main objective is to provide accurate and equitable assessments with unsurpassed customer service. It is my duty and responsibility as your Property Appraiser to determine that your property is appraised correctly and that all exemptions and classifications are properly administered. I do not control property values. They are determined by the rise and fall of the real estate market.
Our office recently mailed out over 154,000 TRIM (truth in mileage) Notices to Citrus County property owners. Florida law requires the Property Appraiser to assess every parcel of real and tangible personal property in Citrus County as of January 1, 2022. The 2022 just values are based on the 2021 market data. As I wrote about last month, the TRIM notice you received shows your 2022 just value, exemptions you are receiving, and the proposed tax amounts as set by the various taxing authorities listed on the notice.
It is important to remember the Property Appraiser’s Office does not set or collect taxes. If you feel your taxes or tax rates are too high, the Value Adjustment Board (VAB) cannot help you. You need to attend the annual public budget meetings of those Taxing Authorities that set the tax rates. You can find a schedule (time, date, and place) of all the annual budget public hearings for each governmental entity listed on the back of your TRIM Notice that you received in the mail or located online.
Hopefully, you all have reviewed those notices for accuracy. If you feel that your market value is not where you think it should be, or you are missing a tax savings exemption, please contact our office before the end of business day on September 13, 2022. Anything after that day will require a petition to be filed with the Citrus County Clerk of Courts office and the VAB.
Once a petition is filed by a property owner, our office can’t make any changes to the current tax roll, unless granted by the VAB. Florida law sets the deadlines for filing a petition. These deadlines do not change. The VAB may charge up to $15 for filing a petition. We encourage all property owners to have an informal conference with our office prior to filing a petition with the VAB. Although, the deadline date will not change even if you have a discussion with our office.
The VAB is an independent quasi-judicial review board. The VAB has five members, two from the county’s board of commissioners, one from the county’s school board, and two citizens. Pursuant to Florida Law, counties with populations of 75,000 or larger must hire Special Magistrates to conduct hearings and make recommendations to the VAB’s on each petition. Special Magistrates are appointed by the VAB based on their qualifications as real estate appraisers, personal property appraisers, or attorneys. 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 Special Magistrate, as is the petitioner. The duty of the Special Magistrate is to review property valuations, denials of exemptions, classifications, deferrals, and change of ownership or control determinations.
After a hearing has taken place, the Special Magistrate will provide a written recommendation to the Clerk of Circuit Court. The Clerk will send copies of the recommendation to the petitioner along with our office. The Clerk will notify the petitioner of the VAB’s final decision. Included in that decision the Clerk will explain if the VAB has made any changes.
Remember, the absolute deadline to file an application for any 2022 exemption or appeal your property’s just value is September 13, 2022. If my office can ever be of assistance to you, please do not hesitate to contact us 352-341-6600 or stop by and meet with a member of our staff at one of our two convenient locations in Inverness or Crystal River. You can also chat with one of our customer service representatives during normal business hours on our Live Chat feature on our website at citruspa.org. I hope you have a wonderful day and hope to hear from you soon.