Property Tax

Dade property appraiser changes appeal process

By now, most Miami-Dade property owners have received a letter in the mail called the TRIM or “Truth in Millage” notice from the Miami-Dade Property Appraiser’s Office.

Each letter includes information about proposed tax rates of the local cities, school board, county and other agencies. It also includes any homestead exemptions or other tax breaks.

“Everything that will affect your property tax bill is in that TRIM notice including the budget hearing dates for cities and boards. Everything is there,” said property appraiser Carlos Lopez-Cantera.

The notice is not a bill, Lopez-Cantera said.

This year, the letters were mailed with an informal assessment review form for property owners to fill out if they think their assessed property value is too high.

This new form does away with the old appeals process which Lopez-Cantera says was unnecessarily lengthy.

In the past, property owners had to file their assessment contests and wait for a hearing with the Value Adjustment Board. The hearing, usually months after the appeal, was held by a special magistrate who weighed documents from the property owner and the property appraiser and recommended whether to change an assessment. The entire process could take a year.

Under the new system, property owners simply fill out the assessment review form and return it with appropriate evidence if they believe an adjustment is necessary. The property appraiser’s staff will then review the documentation and make a decision.

“Just the amount of time it took to appeal an assessment was a reason to try and make it easier for property owners,” said Lopez-Cantera. “We’re looking at these objectively. It definitely will take a lot less than 12 to 16 months.”

Property owners dissatisfied with the appraiser's decision can still appeal to the Value Adjustment Board — provided they file their original complaint to the property appraiser by Sept. 17.

Property owners with questions or concerns about the TRIM notice, values and exemptions can attend a series of town hall meetings where Lopez-Cantera and his staff will answer questions.

The town hall meetings will take place at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the West Kendall Regional Library, 10201 Hammocks Blvd.; and at 7 p.m. Sept. 16 at the Miami Beach Regional Library, 227 22nd St.

Residents can also call the property appraiser’s office at 305-375-4712.

Read more Miami-Dade stories from the Miami Herald

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