Miami-Dade County's Value Adjustment Board (VAB) began hearing 2008 real property tax appeal cases in December.
Since there is a reported 70,000 appeals filed in 2008, the hearings are scheduled well into 2009.
A solution for property owners to lowering the cost of owning a home or condominium is the appeal of real property taxes.
The values of properties have been substantially lower in South Florida than at the height of the real estate market in 2005-2006. Since the date of value for tax appeals is January 1st of the current tax year, the comparables required are from the prior year. For instance, in asking for a reduction in 2008, one must present sales data from 2007. In tax year 2009, data from 2008 will be acceptable for use in the appeals.
Comparable sales are generally lower than in years past, and in 2008 and 2009, tax agents will have the use of this data in their appeals. Appraiser Pedro Garcia acknowledged this in the public forums leading up the vote for the Miami-Dade Property Appraiser. Mr. Garcia is a long time Realtor and real estate appraiser with 32 years of experience, and he is an appointed magistrate on the Miami-Dade County Value Adjustment Board (VAB).
A $100,000 tax bill adds $155 per month to a mortgage (for properties located in Unincorporated Miami-Dade County), as the 2008 millage is 1.862% of the total assessment).
The lender typically escrows the taxes and adds it to the overall monthly mortgage payment, increasing the cost of ownership. This also reduces the purchase price a buyer would be willing to pay for a home or condominium.
If one reduces their tax bill, it would help homeowners keep their houses and lower taxes allow prospective purchasers to acquire homes that are more expensive.
High property taxes not only discourage development, but they also discourage new developments.