Property values are up for the first time in four years in Miami-Dade County, Florida. The county-wide increase was almost 2% (See table.) The turnaround comes as welcome news to county officials because the tax roll has plummeted nearly $55 billion since 2007.
Miami-Dade Property Appraiser Pedro Garcia said, "In my opinion, the real estate market has hit bottom and in some areas, we are seeing a recovery. We can finally say that we can see the light at the end of the tunnel."
Taxpayers will find out the appraiser's opinion of value for their individual property when Notices of Proposed Property Taxes, commonly called Truth in Millage (TRIM) Notices, are mailed this month. The appeal deadline is 25 days after the notice is issued.
Mixed Bag of Results
Assessed values increased in 18 of Miami-Dade municipalities. They ranged from a 35% hike in Bal Harbour to a modest 1.30% rise in Coral Gables.
An almost equal amount of municipalities (17) showed a decrease in value. However, in six of them, the decline was less than 1% -- statistically flat. In the other cities, the value declines were less than in the previous three years.
Rate Hearings Scheduled
The tax roll has a major impact on property tax rates, which will be set by county commissioners in September. The higher the tax roll, the more value available for the county to tax. Even if the property tax rate remains the same, a property owner whose value has increased will face higher taxes.
Final tax bills also depend on the rates set by cities and other taxing districts, such as the Miami-Dade School Board. The TRIM notice includes dates and times for public hearings on all applicable property tax rates.
Pay Taxes, Then Appeal
The new 2012 property values are based on market conditions and sales from 2011. Owners, who believe there are errors in their tax assessment or that their property value is overstated for other reasons, should appeal to the Value Adjustment Board.
A change in Florida law went into effect July 1, 2011, which requires petitioners to pay at least 75% of their ad valorem assessment and 100% of their non-ad valorem assessments (fees for specific services such as solid waste collection, street lighting and fire rescue) by the March 31st due date. The appeal will be rejected if timely payments are not made.